Semantic Web Identity of Academic Organizations: Search engine entity recognition and the sources that influence Knowledge Graph Cards in search results

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Humboldt Universität zu Berlin


Semantic Web Identity (SWI) characterizes an entity that has been recognized as such by search engines. The display of a Knowledge Graph Card in Google search results for an academic organization is proposed as an indicator of SWI, as it demonstrates that Google has gathered enough verifiable facts to establish the organization as an entity. This recognition may in turn improve the accuracy and relevancy of its referrals to that organization. This dissertation presents findings from an in-depth survey of the 125 member libraries of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). The findings show that these academic libraries are poorly represented in the structured data records that are a crucial underpinning of the Semantic Web and a significant factor in achieving SWI. Lack of SWI extends to other academic organizations, particularly those at the lower hierarchical levels of academic institutions, including colleges, departments, centers, and research institutes. A lack of SWI may affect other factors of interest to academic organizations, including ability to attract research funding, increase student enrollment, and improve institutional reputation and ranking. This study hypothesizes that the poor state of SWI is in part the result of a failure by these organizations to populate appropriate Linked Open Data (LOD) and proprietary Semantic Web knowledge bases. The situation represents an opportunity for academic libraries to develop skills and knowledge to establish and maintain their own SWI, and to offer SWI service to other academic organizations in their institutions. The research examines the current state of SWI for ARL libraries and some other academic organizations, and describes case studies that validate the effectiveness of proposed techniques to correct the situation. It also explains new services that are being developed at the Montana State University Library to address SWI needs on its campus, which could be adapted by other academic libraries


This is a dissertation in fulfillment of the requirements for a Ph.D., awarded to the author by Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.


Semantic Web, Knowledge Graph Cards, Knowledge Cards, search engines, Google, Wikipedia, Google My Business, DBpedia, Wikidata, Google Plus


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