Sean Thomas

active 5 years, 10 months ago



Sean Thomas


Twitter handle

Short Bio

I am the Program Manager for Scholarly Repository Services, the Product Manager for DSpace@MIT, and the head of the MIT Publications and Digital Content Team in the MIT Libraries. As Product Manager, my efforts involve direct engagement and collaboration with MIT faculty, research staff, and senior administration throughout the Institute to acquire MIT research and teaching output for DSpace@MIT, our renowned institutional repository. As Program Manager for Scholarly Repository Services, I provide technology-based services to support areas of need, such as the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy, bibliographic management and author bibliography services, and services dedicated to showcasing the depth and breadth of research and teaching at MIT. In combination with cataloging, workflow management, and enhanced dissemination activities of the Digital Content Team, my responsibilities include envisioning and implementing an advanced scholarly ecosystem of content and services including local and linked identities for authors and research organizations, evolutions of our descriptive metadata to emerging standards, and aggregations of information resources for our community beyond traditional library collections. I work directly with our development staff, both for research efforts and production systems, cataloging and metadata staff, digitization and digital collection-building staff, liaisons to the research community, scholarly communications librarians on copyright and IP issues, and library administration.
In short
, I am a hub – a central node for scholarly resources and services, both within the MIT Libraries and outwardly to the MIT community. I am also a data junkie and have been for the past 15 years.

Interest in LODLAM

I see the LODLAM Summit as a way of connecting to leading thinkers and advocates at other institutions around LOD issues and would value the opportunity to connect and collaborate with others that envision a similar pathway forward for academic research libraries and archives. I hope to find a group of collaborators specifically engaged with LOD around 'non-traditional' library resources and services. Specifically, looking inward to collect a broader set of resources and links for our local environments and connecting outward to externally-held networked resources. I'd like to advance the concept of LAM as a central hub for data aggregation, networked information resources, and platforms for research. I hope to expose the degree to which linked data resources like DBPedia and Freebase have extremely scarce information regarding scholarly activities and promote LAM as critical nodes in a scholarly LOD ecosystem.


Library, Archive, Academic, Research

Linked Open Data Projects

Related conferences and presentations include:
– Promoting Your Research with Citeline – an Advanced Bibliographic Citation Publishing Services, Open Repositories, Atlanta, GA, 2009
– SIMILE Project's Citeline: A New Tool for Bibliographic Publishing on the Web, SPARC Digital Repositories Meeting, Baltimore, MD, 2010
– Institutional Repositories and VIVO – Synergistic Opportunities (invited presenter and panelist for 'Next Steps for Research Networking in Science'), 1st Annual VIVO Converence, New York, NY, 2010
– DSpace@MIT
, NFAIS/CENDI/FLICC/LOC Repositories in Science & Technology: Preserving Access to the Record of Science (invited presenter), Washington, D.C., 2011

The MIT Libraries and CSAIL (MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) partnered on the SIMILE Project, a seminal effort into semantic web technologies that produced a number of open-source applications widely in use today. Citeline is a service that I designed as a personal and project-based bibliography service that was a cut across a number of SIMILE technologies, including Exhibit, and allows for centralized management and administration of bibliographic metadata with author-specific, customizable exhibits for including in personal and departmental web pages and includes well-structured metadata, including RDF XML/JSON, for exporting/reporting purposes.

I have also been spearheading the evaluation of VIVO as a framework for a semantically-rich graph of MIT scholarship and as part of an evolving ecosystem of local and linked repositories of scholarly metadata and content. The ecosystem includes connecting to networked resources such as licensed journal/conference repositories, CrossRef, ORCID, VIAF, institutional repositories, central MIT Data Warehouse, and other local information systems/services (e.g., grants, MIT OpenCourseWare, MIT News, MIT World videos).

I am also co-organizer of a linked open data community-building program and hack-a-thon at MIT ( . Our aim is to organize faculty, research staff, students and other stakeholders of the MIT community and abroad – many of whom have already expressed great interest in one-on-one conversations – around the benefits of Open Data, Linked Data, and LOD. With targeted outreach to programmers, 'data scientists', data mining and data visualization specialists and key leadership positions, we seek to provide an opportunity for collaboration and community-building toward the creation of Institute-wide graph of data and a showcase for future applications/services that leverage open data at MIT. I've already begun discussions with members of the community on policies around data use/reuse and hope that this engagement can further those efforts.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)