JazzCats (Jazz Collection of Aggregated Triples) is a prototype Linked Open Data (LOD) project, which connects musicological, historical, and prosopographical data. Four projects with complementary data are brought together in JazzCats: a social network connecting musicians, provided by LinkedJazz (Pattuelli, 2016); details of solos within performances (including pitch, key, and chord changes) from WJazzD (Pfleiderer, et al. 2016); Body&Soul (Bowen, 2013), a discography of over 200 recordings; and J-DISC (Hao, et al. 2016), a specialised digital library containing information about jazz recording sessions.
The underlying ontological structure (documented at http://jazzcats.oerc.ox.ac.uk/documentation) includes properties and classes from other vocabularies, such as the Music Ontology (Raimond, et al. 2007), the Event Ontology (Raimond & Abdallah, 2007), FOAF (Brickley & Miller, 2014), and SKOS (Miles, et al. 2005). Publishing this data as RDF using common vocabularies and ontologies increases their discoverability and value, and enables connections with other LOD projects and datasets anywhere on the Web.
A conscious decision was made at the onset of the JazzCats development process to publish the resulting RDF, all ontological structures, and the raw data in Open and accessible formats, with appropriate licensing (Miller, et al. 2008). This allows for the replication of our workflow, verification of our findings, and reuse of any or all of the composite parts of the project.
Influenced by ongoing work at ResearchSpace (Oldman, et al. 2016), planned future developments include a user-interface that will allow users to generate ontologically valid queries using dropdown lists generated by available properties for each class. This step will further help open up JazzCats for experts and scholars along the full length of the digital humanities spectrum.