A survey of time based approaches for linked data

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-04-2019-0084
Publication Date18 November 2019
Pages752-763
Date18 November 2019
AuthorErik Radio
SubjectLibrary & information science
A survey of time based
approaches for linked data
Erik Radio
University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Abstract
Purpose Linked data technologies promise different ways of querying and retrieving information that
enable individuals to have search experiences that are broader and more coordinated than those common in
current library technologies. It is vital that information technologies be able to incorporate temporal
capabilities or reasoning to allow for the more nuanced interactions with resources, particularly as they
change over time. The purpose of this paper is to assess methods currently in use that allow for temporal
querying of resources serialized as linked data.
Design/methodology/approach This paper examines philosophical models, experimental approaches
and common standards to identify areas of alignment and divergence in their orientations toward serializing
time and change as linked data. By framing approaches and standards within the context of philosophical
theories, a clear preference for certain models of time emerge.
Findings While there have been several approaches to serializing time as linked data, none have found
their way into a full implementation by standards in common use. Further, approaches to the issue are largely
rooted in one model of philosophical thought that is particularly oriented to computational approaches. As
such there is a gap between methods and standards, and a large room for further investigation into temporal
models that may be applicable for different contexts. A call for investigation into a model that can cascade in
to different temporal approaches is provided.
Originality/value While there are many papers concerning serializing time as linked data, none have tried
to thoroughly align these to philosophical theories of time and further to standards currently in use.
Keywords Information retrieval, Technology, Metadata, Ontologies, Resource description framework,
Bibliographic standards
Paper type Research paper
Linked data technologies promise different ways of querying and retrieving information
that enable individuals to have search experiences that are broader and more coordinated
than those common in current library technologies. Much emphasis has been placed on
linked datas ability to pull in disparate information resources through the use of shared
identifiers between systems and as such broaden the capabilities of a given search, as well
as mitigate issues related to nomenclature and dereferencing. While these capabilities are
attractive toward broadening research behaviors, they currently rely on a unidimensional
view of information resources; i.e., a model that pushes the query into a flat picture of the
present. As I have argued elsewhere, it is vital that information technologies be able to
incorporate temporal capabilities or reasoning to allow for the more nuanced interactions
with resources, particularly as they change over time (Radio, 2014). For example, a digital
collection focusing on geological phenomenon would benefit from the ability to delineate the
relationality between different iterations of a geological object, just as departmental name
changes in an institutional repository could be elucidated by outlining similar relations.
This paper is a survey influenced by media archeological methods in that it attempts to
position where linked data and temporal models have been situated and where those
methods have oriented linked data approaches in the present. This paper will provide an
overview of the main philosophical models of time and relate these to their corresponding
linked data approaches and standards. An analysis of what adopting a particular model of
time implies for the future orientations and challenges of a given model will be explored, as
well as gaps in the literature that require further examination to a further enabling of Linked
Data for Time/Change (LDTC).
Library Hi Tech
Vol. 37 No. 4, 2019
pp. 752-763
© Emerald PublishingLimited
0737-8831
DOI 10.1108/LHT-04-2019-0084
Received 12 April 2019
Revised 5 June 2019
25 June 2019
Accepted 25 June 2019
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/0737-8831.htm
752
LHT
37,4

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