Digital Collections Coordinator, Libraries
Digital Projects Developer, Libraries
Duke University Libraries has begun embedding structured metadata within the source code of the Web pages that display the Libraries’ digital collections. This practice follows the recommendations of the schema.org initiative, an effort by commercial search engine developers to use structured data to enrich the user’s experience. The initiative has led, for example, to Google’s display of contact information for retail outlets in search results, or its enhanced options for filtering recipe searches. Duke’s objectives in adopting schema.org relate both to the ways that an exterior service like Google might represent the institution’s materials, and how the organization will offer services to researchers. Usage analysis suggests that systems outside of Duke’s library, largely consisting of the commercial search tools, drive traffic to University collections, and the institution wants to increase its own systems’ interoperability with them.
Duke is also piloting a local instance of Google, via its Site Search API, with the potential to enhance and replace the discovery services offered to users. Generally speaking, the library sees embedded structured data as a way to extend the impact of the time and resources spent on discovery tools for the content that we manage. This presentation will show how Duke Libraries is using schema.org, it will include a demonstration of a localized Google experience, and it will include discussion of how this new emphasis on structured data changes how Duke Libraries envisions the future of discovery.