about the project

The open bibl project is a lightweight solution for creating and publishing open, dynamic bibliographies to the web, built around a custom TEI schema, XSL, js, and linked open data.

Humanities scholars often create bibliographies in the course of their work. These can take on many forms: annotated bibliographies, descriptive bibliography and catalogues, author and subject bibliographies, or learning objects for scholars researching people and concepts in their field. The aggregate nature of these publications means that printed bibliographies are often outdated soon after publication and calls for a shift away from print to a more dynamic, web-based bibliography that allows updating and revising as new information becomes available.

While many bibliographical works are still published as print monographs, web-based bibliographies are nothing new; however, current web-based bibliography publishing models present a number of challenges to those wanting to share their research openly on the web. The creators of scholarly web bibliographies must design, create, and host relational databases, forms, queries, and a web interface, as well as deal with the hosting, access and maintenance issues associated with publishing a searchable, accessible database to the web.

These bibliographies are often multi-layered documents, rich with bibliographic information, metadata about the items described, and added value in the form of annotations, contextual information, and links to other relevant information and resources. This bibliographic and contextual information, which in many cases cannot be found elsewhere on the Web, might be valuable to other researchers if made available in a data markup format that is open to harvesting and repurposing.

The open bibl project represents a novel approach for publishing bibliographies to the Web using TEI in a format that enables linking, sharing, and repurposing of the content of TEI-encoded scholarly bibliographies. To that end, the project has two goals: a) to develop tools allowing scholars to easily construct, markup, and publish bibliographies in more meaningful ways while exposing their structured data to other Web applications; and b) to build a vocabulary for marking up and transforming structured bibliographic data within these documents, using existing vocabularies such as TEI and schema.org to the extent possible, and creating new terms where necessary.