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Author: Joel Richard

Joel Richard is the head of Web Services for the Smithsonian Libraries and the Technical Coordinator for the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

Getting Organized: Planning website projects

Engraved Image from a book of renaissance machines depicting a two-story machine with the gears on lower floor of the building.
Agostino Ramelli “Le Diverse et Artificiose Machine”, 1588

With the management of a large, ever-changing website comes the management of the individual projects that make up that website. The Smithsonian Libraries’ website is made up of many components, most of which were or are treated as smaller projects that have limited or ongoing scope. We’re in the process of testing and refining a documentation process by which our staff can propose and define additions to our site.

Refining Taxonomic Literature II Linked Data

Image of Orchid "Masdevallia lindeni" from Lindenia. Iconographie des Orchidées , 1885-1906
Jean Jules Linden. Lindenia. Iconographie des Orchidées , 1885-1906

Editor’s note: Rachel is an intern from the University of Maryland’s iSchool MLS program and has been with us for the past seven weeks. Her internship is coming to a close, so we’ve asked her to write a blog post to share what she has done as part of her internship. I have posted this on her behalf.

In January, Joel wrote about our plans to present the Taxonomic Literature-2 (TL-2) dataset as Linked Open Data, allowing for greater searchability and reuse. The main focus of my internship was to identify and investigate other data elements that could be converted to Linked Open Data.

Improving Linked Data

Diagram of mine workings in book VI, "Machines for Drawing Heavy Vapours off from Tunnels"
Diagram of mine workings in book VI, “Machines for Drawing Heavy Vapours off from Tunnels”

In an earlier post in December 2011, we announced the release of the Taxonomic Literature II (TL-2) search tool that allows anyone to search and read its fifteen volumes.  One of the things we mentioned in that post was our plans to open the TL-2 dataset to searchability and reuse by providing it as Linked Open Data (LOD).

This time, we’ll discuss details of our plans for Linked Open Data, some of the data we are extracting, and the challenges in creating data for a linked open data set.

Web Analytics and Us: A report from the LITA National Forum

Zeiss’ New Microscopes No. III , 1906 circular

In my role as web developer at the Smithsonian Libraries, I recently attended the LITA National Forum in Columbus, OH. At the conference, I participated in an 8-hour pre-conference session on website analytics and how to use them to understand and improve the usability of a website. Since this is Open Access Week, I thought a summary of this session might be interesting to share.