Tech Blog

Journey to Linked Open Data Support – An Update

Ex Libris has been hard at work implementing linked open data (LOD) features. In close cooperation with the IGELU/ELUNA Working Group on Linked Open Data, LOD has appeared in road map highlights going back several years. Now at the beginning of 2018 I’d like highlight several features released in the past few months, and to pause to take stock of where support for linked data stands today.

MARC-based records can be enriched and transformed to linked data formats such as JSON/LD, RDA/RDF, and BIBFRAME. These records can be accessed in Alma via API endpoints, publishing, and special views in the Alma user interface. The current status after recent developments can be represented by the table below:

APIPublishingView in Alma


Alma provides API endpoints for all three linked data formats. Once activated, the APIs are open and available to anyone. In addition, Alma refers back to the relevant endpoints when publishing URIs for bibliographic and authority records stored in Alma.


Records in Alma can be publishing to linked data output formats. The result is files containing Work/Manifestation (RDA/RDF) or Work/Instance (BIBFRAME) records. For more information on configuring publishing profiles, including linked data enrichment, see the online help.

View in Alma

Exposure to linked data records will increase librarians’ familiarity with these formats and help encourage adoption. To that end, the simple record view in Alma supports a BIBFRAME tab.

Discovery Support

Primo has focused on supporting two major linked data workflows:

  • Expose URIs embedded in metadata records which can be used to enrich the user interface with linked open data from other sources. An example of this use case can be found in this Github repository.
  • Expose the library records in linked data schemas. There are plans to support encoding in the Primo full record view in the first half of this year.


Further Reading

A live demo of the latest LOD features in Alma was presented as a LOD Working Group Show & Tell. See the recorded webinar here. If you’re interested in taking the features out for a spin, the linked data section of the Developer Network is a great place to get started. Keep your eye out for more linked data features in the latest Alma and Primo road maps. And join the Linked Open Data Working Group to get involved further.

Leave a Reply