The goal of LUCERO (Linking University Content for Education and Research Online) is to investigate and prototype the use of linked data technologies and approaches to linking and exposing data for students and researchers. Linked data technologies and principles represent emerging practices to format and interconnect information on the Web. Working with groups of learners, researchers and practitioners based at the Open University, LUCERO will scope, prototype, pilot and evaluate reusable, cost-effective solutions relying on linked data for exposing and connecting educational and research content. LUCERO aim in particular at answering the following questions:

“What are the workflows, business processes, policies and technologies needed to expose the Open University and related digital content as linked data?”

“How can we integrate linked data technology in a sustainable way to support the research and educational activities of a Further or Higher Education organisation?”

LUCERO collaborates closely with the Open University Faculty of Arts to prototype and evaluate specific content exposure and linked data applications for researchers working within the Arts and Arts History domains, providing experience on the exposure and connection of research data outputs, and demonstrating their concrete benefits.

Exposing resources as linked data creates a potential for broader reuse of their content, impacting on potentially large numbers of students and research communities. In LUCERO, we aim to document business process changes required to achieve successful integrated institutional approaches and behaviours required to facilitate content and data reuse alongside documenting the development of policy and recommended standard-based, semantic technology interoperability solutions to support the effective delivery of educational and research data linked exposure.

More precisely, the planned outputs of the project are:

  • The deployment, test and documentation of a technical infrastructure, a toolkit, to facilitate the creation, exposure and use of linked data, implemented within the Open University, but designed to be reusable in other HE/FE institutions. This includes the realisation of interfaces to data creation, storage, publication and semi-automatic linking suitable to be used by library staff and academics, and that integrate with their current working environment.
  • The identification, documentation and validation of the processes necessary to integrate linked data in the Univeristy’s practices and workflows, including in particular the business, legal, ethical and organisational aspects.
  • Demonstrators of the benefits of exposing educational and research data as linked data through the realisation of applications improving access to educational and research data in the domain of Arts, for both researchers and students.