Hi Laura,

I've done some work on this in the UK[1][2] and there have been a number of associated projects looking at the open release of library, archive and museum metadata[3].

For libraries (it is different of archives and museums) I think I'd sum up the reasons in three ways - in order of how commonly I think they apply

a. Ignorance/lack of thought - libraries don't tend to licence their metadata, and often make no statement about how it can be used - my experience is that often no-one has even asked the questions about licencing/data release
b. No business case - in the UK we talked to a group of university librarians and found that they didn't see a compelling business case for making open data releases of their catalogue records
c. Concern about breaking contractual agreements or impinging on 3rd party copyright over records. The Comet project at the University of Cambridge did a lot of work in this area[4]

As Roy notes, there have been some significant changes recently with OCLC and many national libraries releasing data under open licences. However, while this changes (c) it doesn't impact so much on (a) and (b) - so these remain as fundamental issues and I have a (unsubstantiated) concern that big data releases lead to libraries taking less interest ("someone else is doing this for us") rather than taking advantage of the clarity and openess these big data releases and associated announcements bring.

A final point - looking at libraries behaviour in relation to institutional/open access repositories, where you'd expect at least (a) to be considered, unfortunately when I looked a couple of years ago I found similar issues. Working for the CORE project at the Open University[5] I found that OpenDOAR[6] listed "Metadata re-use policy explicitly undefined" for 57 out of 125 UK repositories with OAI-PMH services. Only 18 repositories were listed as permitting commerical re-use of metadata. Hopefully this has improved in the intervening 2 years!

Hope some of this is helpful


1 Jisc Guide to Open Bibliographic Data
2 Jisc Discovery principles
3 Jisc Discovery Case studies
5 CORE blog
6 OpenDOAR

Owen Stephens
Owen Stephens Consulting
Email: [log in to unmask]
Telephone: 0121 288 6936

On 29 Apr 2014, at 21:06, Ben Companjen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi Laura,
> Here are some reasons I may have overheard.
> Stuck halfway: "We have an OAI-PMH endpoint, so we're open, right?"
> Lack of funding for sorting out our own rights: "We gathered metadata from
> various sources and integrated the result - we even call ourselves Open
> L*****y - but we [don't have manpower to figure out what we can do with
> it, so we added a disclaimer]."
> Cultural: "We're not sure how to prevent losing the records' provenance
> after we released our metadata."
> Groeten van Ben
> On 29-04-14 19:02, "Laura Krier" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Hi Code4Libbers,
>> I'd like to find out from as many people as are interested what barriers
>> you feel exist right now to you releasing your library's bibliographic
>> metadata openly. I'm curious about all kinds of barriers: technical,
>> political, financial, cultural. Even if it seems obvious, I'd like to hear
>> about it.
>> Thanks in advance for your feedback! You can send it to me privately if
>> you'd prefer.
>> Laura
>> -- 
>> Laura Krier
>> l&utm_campaign=email>