The traditional approach of sharing data within silos seems to have reached its end with Web advancing to an era of opening data. From governments and international organizations to local cities and institutions, there is a widespread effort of opening up and interlinking data. Two important concepts have been coined in this context:
• Open Data, defined as “data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share alike” ; and
• Linked Data, associated to the technical interoperability of data, which enables to connect data from a variety of sources (related to the Semantic Web architecture) .
While Open Data refers to data freely available without restrictions , Linked Data is refereeing to machine-readable data. Therefore data can be open but not linked or linked but not open, however if data is open and linked it then becomes Linked Open Data.
The main difference between the web of hypertext and the Semantic Web is that while the first links html pages or documents, the second goes beyond the concept of document and links structured data. In this context, Linked Data is the set of best practices for publishing and connecting structured data on the Web.
This particular scenario is beneficial for digital repositories, as a way to enhance the visibility and interoperability of data by linking their content into the wider Web of Data.