May 28, 2022

DDC Summaries + Linked Data =

What’s Available From the Web Site:

  • Access to the top three levels of the DDC in eleven languages
  • Access to Abridged Edition 14 (assignable numbers and captions) in three languages
  • Actionable URIs for every class
  • Classification semantics encoded in SKOS
  • Representations for machines (RDF) and for humans (XHTML+RDFa)
  • Different RDF serializations (RDF/XML, Turtle, JSON)
  • Exposed SPARQL endpoint
  • Data is reusable under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license

Background and Overview: Dewey Summaries as Linked Data via OCLC

For a long time, the Dewey team at OCLC has wanted to do something with Linked Data. That is, apply Linked Data principles to parts of the Dewey Decimal Classification and present the data as a small “terminology service.” The service should respond to regular HTTP requests with either a machine- or a human-readable presentation of Dewey classes. There should be a URI (and, even better, a Web page that delivers a useful description) for every Dewey concept, not just single classes. The data should be presented in a format that is capable of handling rich semantic information and in a way that allows users or user agents to just “follow their nose” to explore the data. For more complex stuff, the service should offer an API-like query access. Finally, the data that is presented should be reusable by anyone for non-commercial purposes.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.