Smith, Daniel Alexander, Bretherton, David, Lambert, Joe and schraefel, m.c.
The MusicNet composer URI project
At UK e-Science All Hands Meeting 2010, United Kingdom.
13 - 16 Sep 2010.
In any domain, a key activity of researchers is to search for and synthesize data from multiple sources in order to create new knowledge. In many cases this process is laborious, to the point of making certain questions effectively intractable because the cost of the searches outstrip the time available to complete the research. As more resources are published as Linked Data, and with the development of appropriate tools, data from multiple heterogeneous sources should be more rapidly discoverable and automatically integrable, enabling previously intractable queries to be explored, and standard queries to be significantly accelerated for more rapid knowledge discovery. But Linked Data is not of itself a complete solution. One of the key challenges of Linked Data is that its strength is also a weakness: anyone can publish anything. So in classical music, for instance, 17 sources may publish data about "Schubert", but there is no de facto way to know that any of these Schuberts are one and the same, because the sources are not aligned. Without alignment, much of the benefit of Linked Data is diminished: resources can effectively be stranded rather than discovered, or tangled nets of only guessed at associations can cost more time than they are worth to determine whether a particular dataset is relevant or not.
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