Martin Kaltenböck

Linked (Open) Data has reached the European Publishing Industry – but is it the ‘Real Linked Data’ – a short review on the Publishers’ Forum 2013

Invited by Helmut von Berg, Director at Klopotek & Partner (Klopotek is THE European vendor for publishing production software) I had the chance to participate and speak at this years Publishers’ Forum 2013 at the Concorde Hotel in Berlin on 22nd to 23rd of April 2013.

Coming from the semantic web / linked (open) data community to this publishing industry event with about 320 participants (mainly decision makers) from small to huge publishers all across Europe made me really curious in the forefront of the Forum – what would be the most important issues for innovative publishing processes, what would be the hypes and hopes of a sector that is in the middle of a big change: coming from paper publishing straight into the world of our todays’ data economy?

And  then in Berlin, Monday morning – the big surprise: already the opening keynotes by David Worlock, Outsell, UK (Title of Talk: The Atomization of Everything) and Dan Pollock, Nature Publishing Group, UK (Title of Talk: Networked Publishing is Open for Business) mentioned topics as the Semantic Web, Linked (Open) Data and even RDF and Triple Stores – last but not least pointing out that the content of publishers needs to be atomized down to the ‘data level’ and then can to be used successfully for new and innovative business models to serve existing and future customers…

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David Worlock ‘singing my song’ at the Publishers’ Forum 2013

As I participated in the European Data Forum 2013 (EDF2013) just a few days before the Publishers’ Forum my first thought was: WOW – publishers today have arrived in modern data economy (following already the data value chain)! And I enjoyed talking to David Worlock in the coffee break telling him my thoughts and that I will manage a workshop about ‘Enterprise Terminology as a basis for powerful semantic services for publishers’ in the afternoon that day (see slides on slideshare) and his answer was ‘Yes Martin, it seems that I was singing your song’.

The following 1.5 days of the Publishers’ Forum 2013 were full of presentations, workshops and discussions about innovative publishing processes, new business models for publishers and innovative approaches and services – full of terms that are well known by myself like: meta data management, semantics, contextualisation and very very often: Big Data and Linked (Open) Data…..and I listened very carefully to all of this – and at some point it was clear: this discussion needs to be evaluated more carefully – because many of talks and presentations were using the above mentioned terms, principles and technologies only as marketing buzz words – but taking a deeper look showed: there is no semantic web technology in place?!

Hey, Linked Data does NOT mean to establish something like a relation / a link between ‘an Author and a publication’ inside of a repository / a database – Linked (Open) Data is a well established and specified methodology using W3C semantic web standards:

Tim Berners-Lee outlined four principles of linked data in his Design Issues: Linked Data as follows:

  • Use URIs to denote things.
  • Use HTTP URIs so that these things can be referred to and looked up (“dereferenced”) by people and user agents.
  • Provide useful information about the thing when its URI is dereferenced, leveraging standards such as RDF*, SPARQL.
  • Include links to other related things (using their URIs) when publishing data on the Web.

Please read in more detail here:

As being a bit like an evangelist for Linked (Open) Data I think such a hype can be very dangerous for the publishing industry – because I see a very strong need for these companies to go for innovative content- and data management approaches very quickly to ensure competitiveness today as well as competitive advantage tomorrow – but not using the respective standards (means: only having the packaging and marketing brochures branded with it) cannot fulfill the hopes in the mid- and the long term!

Thereby I would like to point out here that ‘Linked Data’ seems not always to be ‘Linked Data’ – and I would like to strongly recommend to take a look at the well proven standards – and when selecting IT consultants and IT vendors (means: your IT partners – also a very interesting message taken home from the Forum: that publishers and IT vendors should co-operate more closely in the future in the form of sustainable partnerships) to ensure that these partners really have worked already and are working continuously with these standards and mechanisms!

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Christian Dirschl (Wolters Kluwer) presenting the
WKD Use Case on Enterprise Terminologies

Btw. I had a great workshop on Monday afternoon together with Christian Dirschl from Wolters Kluwer Germany (WKD) discussing applications on top of enterprise terminologies (controlled vocabularies using real linked (open) data principles). And: The Semantic Web Company (SWC) is already a partner of the publisher WKD – and this partnership seems to become a more and more fruitful and sustainable one every day – using real linked (open) data…

Andreas Blumauer

It’s All about Finding the Needle in the Big Data Haystack

Wolters Kluwer Deutschland GmbH and Viennese Semantic Web Company agree on cooperating on the development of innovative and highly efficient products for data, information and metadata management.

Cologne/Vienna (February 05, 2013) – Wolters Kluwer Deutschland (WKD), knowledge and information service provider located in Cologne and the Austrian Semantic Web Company (SWC) act in collusion with each other. The aim of this cooperation is to offer the sustainable creation and targeted usage of domain specific thesauri and enterprise taxonomies based on Linked Data technologies as a market-ready and ready to use product.

Whereas WKD with its core competences in law, business, tax, finance and health is covering the domain and methodological dimension of the cooperation, SWC is contributing the technological know-how. Main target is to fulfill concrete needs and requirements of customers in a highly efficient and practical way.
“Our offering is addressing large national institutions like ministries, federal agencies and social insurances as well as banks. This includes also larger NGOs and administrations that have an international focus”, explains WKD content architect Christian Dirschl the direction of the cooperation. As with searching and finding the ‘proverbial needle in the data haystack’, we also address specialists like large law firms or smaller units in large enterprises, “who are specifically working on legal matters, making with their work an important contribution to the success of the company as a whole.” Especially knowledge domains like law, industry, tax and finance are getting more and more intransparent on global scale, Dirschl explains, “so that semantic technologies and Linked Data methods gain importance”.
Amongst others, the following services and products are offered, based on this cooperation:
  • Metadata management and enterprise thesaurus management
  • Semantic search and data integration
  • Text mining and knowledge extraction
  • Creation of knowledge networks and knowledge management systems
  • Supporting the creation of Linked Data and Open Data infrastructures
We observed in the last 10 years “how search and linking of information have gained importance in certain domains and what competitive advantages can evolve from that,” stresses Andreas Blumauer, managing director of SWC. “Our customer base profits from this cooperation. We immediately guarantee state-of-the-art technologies paired with professional domain assistance, e.g. with the creation of domain taxonomies and thesauri, so that information resources can be used more efficiently”, Blumauer says.

About Wolters Kluwer Germany
Wolters Kluwer Germany is an information services company specializing in the legal, business and tax sectors. Wolters Kluwer provides pertinent information to professionals in the form of literature, software and services. Headquartered in Cologne, it has over 1,200 employees located at over 20 offices throughout Germany and has been conducting business on the German market for over 25 years.
Wolters Kluwer Germany is part of the leading international information services company, Wolters Kluwer n.v., located in Alphen aan den Rijn (The Netherlands). The core market segments, targeting an audience of professional users, are legal, business, tax, accounting, corporate and finance services, and healthcare.  Its shares are quoted on the Euronext Amsterdam (WKL), and are included in the AEX and the Euronext 100 indices. Wolters Kluwer has annual sales of 3.4 billion Euros (2011), employs approx.19,000 people worldwide and has over 40 offices located throughout Europe, North America and Asia Pacific and in Latin America.
Thomas Thurner

iSemantics 2012 – Visualization of Linked Data in Focus

The I-Know / I-Semantics 2012 is over, leaving their mark in the minds of nearly 500 participants: in more than 100 presentations, poster sessions and discussions latest trends and technologies of the Semantic Web and Knowledge Management world were presented. While the I-Know focused on workplace-based and computer-assisted learning, the I-Semantics’ central topic was the utilization of Linked Data.

Most current issues are the visualization of Linked Data and the automatic development of large, graph-based structures using Spreading Activation (graph-based algorithms for information retrieval and recommender systems). Five keynote lectures by Lora Aroyo (VU University Amsterdam), Eric Duval (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), Chris Welty (IBM), David Mallon (Bersin & Associates) and Andreas Schneider (Roche Diagnostics) completed the program and provided a good balance between scientific visions and applied practice.

The Semantic Web Company organised live demos of PoolParty at their booth and received very positive feedback from the booth visitors concerning the simplicity and usability of the platform. By providing communication interfaces to CMS such as Sharepoint the Semantic Web Company has definitely chosen the right strategy to meet the needs of the business world: companies and consultants of several industries such as the automotive industry or business intelligence showed strong needs for the integration of lightweight knowledge models such as a thesaurus into enterprise infrastructures. Christian Dirschl (Wolters Kluwer) and Horst Baumgarten (Roche) underlined this approach by providing practical insights in their speeches about the use of PoolParty in their companies for the creation of (publicly) available vocabularies and their use in global and multilingual intranets. See you again in Graz next year!

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