Introduction to Semantic Web Services 

Semantic Web services offered by the Library aim to reduce the ambiguity of search results in order to deliver more rich, accurate, and relevant information to the user. The MSU Library now offers a new set of Semantic Web Services to improve visibility and enhance reputation of MSU, our researchers, and our research products.

 

Goals

  • Disambiguate Entities

  • Provide Robust, Authoritative, Contextual Search Results

  • Create Relationships Amongst “Contextual Entities”

  • Direct Web Traffic to Appropriate MSU Sites

  • Boost Visibility of MSU, Researchers, and Research

 

Benefits to MSU

Disambiguation 

For example, a web search for “MSU College of Business” should provide results featuring information about Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship. Overcoming the ambiguity of the search term "MSU" requires careful and consistent curation of structured data to ensure a robust, contextual, and authoritative Semantic Web Identity for MSU’s various entities.

Web Traffic 

Web analytics data indicate that the Library's Semantic Web Services have positively influenced quantity, frequency, and duration of visits to MSU web pages. 

Reputation 

Prior to this service, MSU had not claimed, populated, or verified data sources trusted by search engines. Creation of structured data and curation of content has been shown to boost the visibility of MSU, its components, and its scholarly products. Authoritative visibility is likely to enhance MSU’s reputation and positively influence student enrollment and grant funding.

 

Semantic Web Projects

Researcher Identification Services

Researchers struggle to gain recognition for their work in the increasingly crowded publication environment. Active promotion of scholarship has become another requisite stage of the publication cycle. Researcher services have proliferated in recent years, creating a landscape that is vast with potential, but also confusing. The current dearth of assistance in researcher promotion forces most authors to struggle alone when attempting to build and curate their digital profiles.

Working to ensure our university's research activities are highly visible and easily searchable, MSU Library now offers a service that facilitates creation of digital identifiers for Montana State University researchers and thereafter curate linkages between individuals and their research activities to ensure work is properly attributed and recognized.

 

Enhancing Semantic Web Identity 

The Semantic Web utilizes structured data to establish relationships among concepts and entities. Major search engines have been building entity databases (e.g., Google Knowledge Graph) that promise to reduce ambiguity and deliver richer and more relevant information in search results. However, academic organizations are poorly represented in Semantic Web data sources from which the entity databases are constructed. As a result, academic organizations experience diminished visibility and utility that may negatively impact their potential to attract students, research funding, and faculty collaborators.

MSU Library offers newly developed services to improve MSU’s representation on the Semantic Web. Focusing on trusted linked data sources, the Library is establishing robust Semantic Web identities throughout the institution. Practice-based evidence and analytical data demonstrate importance of these library-based services at various levels of the university.

Project Collaborators