Richard Wallis of Talis (a library-systems vendor) posted The Data Publishing Three-Step to the Talis blog recently.
My reaction to this particular brand of reductionism is? shall we say, impolitic. I just want to pat Richard on the head and croon “Who’s the clever boy, then? You are! Yes, you are!” This is terrible of me, no question about it, and I apologize unreservedly.
Here’s the problem, though. Aside from my friends the open scientists (and not even all of them, to be honest), practically all the data-producing researchers I know are firmly stuck on Step 1. Firmly stuck, not to say “immovably.” As for Step 2? trust me, these folks are not data modellers. I sincerely doubt my own capacity to teach RDF to someone who approaches me asking, “Is it okay if I record my data in Excel?”
Noting that I have been a longtime RDF skeptic so that you all can discount my peculiar biases, I will say that this disconnect between Linked Data proponents and Joe Q. Researcher concerns me a great deal, mirroring as it does the prior disconnect between RDF advocates and web programmers and content producers, a disconnect that has thus far prevented RDF from becoming common currency on the web.
The bar is too high, folks. It is too high. For my part, I’m starting somewhere both simpler and more complex: working on convincing people that exposing data in any form, emphatically including Excel, is a worthwhile thing to try.