Transformation of metadata for improved discovery and access

The Swissbib web platform harvests the catalogs of all Swiss universities daily. The platform converts metadata from various source formats, matches and merges the records, and has the capacity to process approximately ten million records an hour. Aside from offering its own discovery experience at, the platform synchronizes its aggregated data into WorldCat for exposure in and syndication to various web search engines.

The team at Basel University are continuing to explore how they can leverage the value of their metadata platform and its connections to the global data network.

Firstly, in response to a challenge that all cultural institutions face to make data more openly accessible for public use, they have launched a project known as Because Swissbib uses conventional data formats not associated with the semantic web, they have integrated classic bibliographic data as Linked Open Data. They have done this by creating a transformation workflow for metadata hosted in their platform, converting it from MarcXML to an RDF-based model.

Secondly, and in collaboration with OCLC’s metadata team, they have taken part in a study to investigate whether WorldCat provided them with a consistent source for improving e-book metadata. E-book data quality is a perennial issue and one that can severely impair the access users enjoy to digital resources. The study looked at four of their e-book collections and concluded that all of them could be enriched through mining records in WorldCat.

License or copyright image: by Basel University Library; Manuela Schwendener [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons