Alma supports linked open data for ease of cataloging and an enriched user experience, and this support will grow in the near future.
Alma has been designed to serve as a metadata platform providing the infrastructure for other tools that supply services based on linked data. In addition, Alma will be the platform over which such services are delivered. In this way Alma will help enrich the user experience and support streamlined and more powerful back-office processes for librarians, who will leverage services based on linked data inside Alma.
To this end, Alma will include a linked data services menu on the Repository Search Results screen, indicating that linked data services are associated with the record. Librarians who use Alma records for any process, be it related to acquisitions, fulfillment, or cataloging, will be able to access linked data services for a richer and more efficient experience.
The Alma RESTful API for retrieving catalog records in linked data format is currently being enhanced to include support for the RDA/RDF format. This will complement the already existing JSON-LD based API available in Alma.
In light of the Ex Libris vision of linked data services as a major element in the facilitation of cataloging, the Alma Metadata Editor will also show linked data services highlighted in a frame or displayed in a menu. In this way, such services will become a seamless part of an empowered cataloging process.
Alma today already has the capability to publish the institution’s catalog incrementally with Primo, in a format enriched with URIs. This will be enhanced to also support publishing linked data enriched records to other third-party systems. Publishing in this way works the same way as Alma’s RESTful APIs.
In order to implement the use of linked data sources for cataloging and leverage the existing MARC-based data, the development plans for Alma include workflows enabling catalogers to use well-known linked data sources while cataloging MARC-based bibliographic records, and embed URIs directly in these records. The records will be available to Primo and third-party systems via the Alma APIs and publishing mechanisms.