In Our Time booklist for

This page shows booklist derived from the Further Reading of the In Our Time webpage .

This programme was written in response to one of the ideas raised for the Open Bibliographic Data Challenge: the BBC "In Our Time" Reading List. Briefly,

The idea is to extract and link suggested readings for the In Our time programmes to open, structured bibliographic data.

The programme is written in PHP and is designed to be fired from a Javascript bookmarklet from a page on the In Our Time site, or by appending the In Our Time URL to the end of the URL for this page: It then looks for these books on the British National Bibliography. It follows the following steps:

  1. Set up ARC2 to enable SPARQL searching and RDF processing.
  2. Extract Further Reading section
  3. Separate out Raw Data for each book
  4. Determine pattern used in citation then extract Basic Data, e.g. author, title, article, publication using regular expressions.
  5. Further refine elements to make searching easier, i.e. one surname for author, only title proper for titles.
  6. Construct a SPARQL Query using author surname and title regular expressions pre-filtered for speed by a significant word using bif:contains.
  7. Filter Hits by date of publication.
  8. Obtain and display metadata from BNB

For more details see the accompanying blog post.


Unfortunately, this script is not working at the moment as the BNB Sparql endpoint has been taken down:

Unfortunately we have had to disable the SPARQL endpoint on This is because we have encountered some bugs using the ODBC interface to Virtuoso that have yet to be resolved.

As a stopgap we are communicating with the quad store over HTTP but this means we had to enable write access to the endpoint. Unfortunately this means that the endpoint cannot be made publicly accessible at this time.

We hope to fix this in the future.

I've taken this page down rather than serve up server errors although I will re-instate it if the endpoint is re-activated sometime in the future and I if get to hear about it. As it is really a proof-of-concept system, I hope not too many people are put out by missing the Booklist.

Thomas Meehan (Orangeaurochs)
Blog: Aurlog
Twitter: Orangeaurochs