The purpose of this paper is to examine from a socio‐technical point of view the impact of semantic web technology on the strategic, organisational and technological levels. The semantic web initiative holds great promise for the future for digital libraries. There is, however, a considerable gap in semantic web research between the contributions in the technological field and research in the organisational field.
A comprehensive case study of the National Library of Norway (NL) is conducted, building on two major sources of information: the documentation of the digitising project of the NL; and interviews with nine different stakeholders at three levels of NL's organisation during June to August 2007. Top managers are interviewed on strategy, middle managers and librarians are interviewed regarding organisational issues and ICT professionals are interviewed on technology issues.
The findings indicate that the highest impact will be at the organisational level. This is mainly because inter‐organisational and cross‐organisational structures have to be established to address the problems of ontology engineering, and a development framework for ontology engineering in digital libraries must be examined.
ICT professionals and library practitioners should be more mindful of organisational issues when planning and executing semantic web projects in digital libraries. In particular, practitioners should be aware that the ontology engineering process and the semantic meta‐data production will affect the entire organisation. For public digital libraries this probably will also call for a more open policy towards user groups to properly manage the process of ontology engineering.
Bygstad, B., Ghinea, G. and Klæboe, G. (2009), "Organisational challenges of the semantic web in digital libraries: a Norwegian case study", Online Information Review, Vol. 33 No. 5, pp. 973-985. https://doi.org/10.1108/14684520911001945Download as .RIS
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