Provenance in Digital Libraries: Source, Context, Value and Trust

  • Lucie C. BurgessEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics book series (SPBE)


Provenance is used in digital libraries to denote authorship, origination or creation, information integrity, rights to re-use and exploit digital content, discovery and linking of data, security, accountability and in the context of digital preservation. The concept is applied in an inter-disciplinary sense in the Bodleian Digital Library, alongside the use of W3C standard PROV, as a useful data modelling framework for the Oxford University Research Archive. The application of provenance in the metadata of digital libraries is discussed in terms of entities, agents, activities, locations, concepts and annotations. We consider research challenges associated with provenance in digital libraries, including potential extensions to PROV, crowd-sourcing, applications to new forms of data and determinations of trust.


Data model Digital archives Digital humanities Digital libraries Digital preservation Linked data Ontology Provenance Trust 



I would like to thank my colleague Neil Jefferies, Head of Research and Development at the Bodleian Libraries, for the thought-provoking discussions we have held on the notion of provenance, and for his time in helping me to prepare for the InterPares Trust Interdisciplinary Workshop on Provenance in May 2015.


  1. 1.
    Omitola, T., Gibbins, N., Shadbolt, N.: Provenance in Linked Data Integration. Future Internet Assembly, Ghent, Belgium, 16–17 December (2010)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Freitas, A., Knap, T., O’Riain, S., Curry, E.: W3P: building an OPM based provenance model for the Web. Futur. Gener. Comput. Syst. 27(6), 766–774 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hartig, O., Hartig, O.: Provenance information in the web of data. In: Proceedings of the Linked Data on the Web LDOW Workshop at WWW, vol. 39, no. 27, pp. 1–9 (2009)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Oxford University Research Archive (ORA): Oxford University Research Archive.
  5. 5.
    Jones, T.G., Burgess, L., Jefferies, N., Ranganathan, A., Rumsey, S.: Contextual and provenance metadata in the Oxford University Research Archive (ORA). In: Metadata and Semantics Research Volume 544 of the Series Communications in Computer and Information Science, pp. 274–285 (2015)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hartig, O., Zhao, J.: Publishing and consuming provenance metadata on the web of linked data. Lect. Notes Comput. Sci. (including Subser. Lect. Notes Artif. Intell. Lect. Notes Bioinformatics), vol. 6378 LNCS, pp. 78–90 (2010)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Markovic, M., Edwards, P., Corsar, D., Pan, J.: The crowd and the web of linked data: a provenance perspective. Crowd Tech. Rep. SS, pp. 50–51 (2012)Google Scholar
  8. 8. What’s the score at the Bodleian. (2016)
  9. 9.
    Factor, M., Henis, E., Naor, D., Rabinovici-cohen, S., Reshef, P., Ronen, S.: Authenticity and Provenance in Long Term Digital Preservation: Modeling and Implementation in Preservation Aware Storage. Society, pp. 1–10 (2009)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Library of Congress: PREMIS: Preservation Metadata Maintenance Activity (Library of Congress). (2016)
  11. 11. Cultures of Knowledge: Networking the Republic of Letters, 1550–1750. [Online]. Available: (2016)
  12. 12.
    University of Oxford: Medieval Libraries of Great Britain. (2016)
  13. 13.
    University of Oxford: 15th century book trade project. (2016)
  14. 14. CIDOC-CRM specification. (2016)
  15. 15. (2016)
  16. 16. myExperiment. (2016)
  17. 17.
    Text Encoding Initiative: TEI: Text Encoding Initiative. (2015)
  18. 18. (2016)
  19. 19.
    Jones, T.G., Jefferies, N.: CAMELOT data model web page. (2016)
  20. 20.
    Library of Congress: EAD: Encoded Archival Description. (2016)
  21. 21.
    Berg-Fulton, T., Newbury, D., Snyder, T.: Art Tracks: Visualizing the stories and lifespan of an artwork. MW2015: Museums and the Web, 8–11 April. (2015)
  22. 22. (2016)
  23. 23.
    Moreau, L.: The Foundations for Provenance on the Web, vol. 2 (2010)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Chawuthai, R., Wuwongse, V., Takeda, H.: A formal approach to the modelling of digital archives. Lect. Notes Comput. Sci. (including Subser. Lect. Notes Artif. Intell. Lect. Notes Bioinformatics), vol. 7634 LNCS, pp. 179–188 (2012)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Huang, A.W.-C., Chuang, T.: Relations for reusing (R4R) in a shared context: an exploration on research publications and cultural objects. In: the 4th International Workshop on Semantic Digital Archives (SDA), in conjunction with International Digital Libraries Conference (DL2014), London, 8–12th September (2014)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Huynh, T.D., Ebden, M., Venanzi, M., Ramchurn, S., Roberts, S., Moreau, L.: Interpretation of crowdsourced activities using provenance network analysis. In: First AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing, pp. 78–85 (2013)Google Scholar
  27. 27. (2016)
  28. 28.
    UK Government Office for Science: Distributed Ledger Technology: Beyond Block Chain. (2016)
  29. 29. (2016)

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bodleian Libraries, University of OxfordOxfordUK

Personalised recommendations