Join the next Metadata Discussion Group meeting, where we’ll welcoming in the new academic year with a discussion about the many possible paths to implementing linked library data. Participants will consider homegrown and vended solutions and think about the implications of when and where to introduce linked data into library data stream.
DATE: Tuesday, September 20 TIME: 9-10 am PLACE: Wells Library Room 043 TOPIC: Paths to a Linked Data Catalog MODERATOR: Jennifer Liss
[UPDATE: This meeting IS happening and is now scheduled for Tuesday, April 5 from 9-10am in Wells Library 043. Apologies for missing the meeting where this was originally scheduled but this thing is BACK ON! And don’t forget to check out Jennifer’s post discussing More about MODS (and XML) to learn more about MODS and its uses before we meet.]
It’s been a while since the Metadata Discussion Group last met but Jennifer and I think we have something that could benefit from a few more metadata-aware eyes at IU. If that’s you, or if you’re interested in topics like transforming metadata or linked library data, read on!
There is an ongoing effort in the Hydra community to figure out strategies to deal with descriptive metadata in RDF for use in Fedora 4 (the digital object repository that we hope to upgrade to here at IUB Libraries). The MODS and RDF Descriptive Metadata Subgroup, lead by Steven Anderson from the Boston Public Library, is working on how to handle MODS XML as RDF that will create a usable, if unofficial, metadata application profile to bring MODS into Fedora 4 as RDF properties.
So far this work has involved going through MODS element by element using examples from various institutions and asking the question “If [you] had to move that [MODS element] to RDF in Fedora 4 today, what would [you] chose to do with it?” (see the work for Abstract as an example). The MODS elements examined so far include name, title, typeOfResource, genre, originInfo, physicalDescription, abstract, language, and current work is happening on tableOfContents.
Join us on Tuesday, April 5 from 9-10am in Wells Library 043 to learn about this effort and Indiana University Libraries’ participation. We’ll share contributed examples and discuss how the MDG might help this effort along for IU and the Hydra community.
A message went out to the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC) listserv announcing the appointment of the PCC Task Group on URIs in MARC. The Task Force was formed to “help fulfill our strategic objective to optimize library data for the web” (email from Kate Harcourt to PCCLIST, 8 September 2015).
The group’s charge is available online (.docx). In brief, the group’s objective is to find ways to “transition from string-based descriptive and authority data.”
Those working in an OCLC environment may have already seen URIs in MARC. In order to transition to linked library data, the German National Library (DNB), regularly adds the MARC subfield 0 to access points in MARC bibliographic records. Below is a screenshot of OCLC record 827841368.
The information in subfield 0 contains a code identifying the authority file in parentheses, immediately followed by the authority record control number for the vocabulary term. DE-588 refers to the German National Library’s Integrated Authority File–Gemeinsame Normdatei (GND), which is available as linked data.
Subjects and names selected from authority files are the first obvious identifiers that might be included in bibliographic records; however, those aren’t the only terms selected from controlled vocabularies. Task Force charge #4 addresses “other” entities and relationships expressed in bibliographic records that would be better treated as identifiers. For instance, all RDA Relationship Designators (Appendices I, J, K, M, and eventually L) are terms that might be referenced with URIs, as all RDA element and vocabulary terms are available in the Library of Congress Linked Data Service and/or the Open Metadata Registry. The URI for “Sequel to“, as it might appear in a subfield i of a 7XX field, would become a machine-actionable link between the 1st book in a series and a 2nd book in a series. So much more of our RDA data (e.g., RDA carrier types or RDA media types) could be referenced by URIs.
Quoting again from the charge: “Providing URIs in MARC records will greatly facilitate the reuse of MARC data as linked data and opens the way for catalogers to work with entity registries and controlled vocabularies from the larger metadata community.”
The Metadata Discussion Group is officially on summer hiatus! In the meantime, we’ll be posting occasional new items. If you have some news to pass along, send us a note.
Uche Ogbuji (@uogbuji) is Partner and Chief Technology Officer of Zepheira. He’s been writing about his work on the LibHub Initiative at the Denver Public Library (DPL). His posts include preliminary observations regarding the impact of converting a library database to published linked data–
If you want to see more library linked data in action, Rachel Fewell of DPL included links in a recent post she wrote, Visible Library.
LibHub aims to use BIBFRAME and Schema.org to make it easier for web crawlers to discover library resources and send users to library websites/catalogs.
When I look at the DPL LibHub “record” for Giraffes, black dragons, and other pianos [click this link and then click on the “No thanks, I’ll stay here” button], I can see that the data is being published on the web as BIBFRAME and Schema.org. If you want to see the markup, hit CTRL+U in your browser then do a find (CTRL+F) for “bf:” and “schema”. You’ll see PURLs. You’ll see some Dublin Core. And lots of something called http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/ (which is best addressed in a separate post). What you won’t see? Access points (author, subjects, etc.) being associated with their identifiers, such as the Library of Congress Linked Data Service or VIAF. I’d guess that more robust linking is in the works. In any case, it’s good to see more examples of linked library data services being launched.
At this point, I’m fairly certain that only MARC data was used to populate the DPL LibHub dataset (I trust, dear Internet, that you’ll correct me if I’m wrong). DPL uses ContentDM to host their digital collections but I haven’t found any evidence that ContentDM Dublin Core records were included in the conversion. If you find a record from the DPL digital repository in the DPL LibHub dataset, let us know in the comments.
So, do libraries launch datasets on their own in the future? Do we pay for a service to host our data for us? I like the CC-BY license because it requires attribution (metadata provenance is going to be a bigger deal in the LOD world)–is this the way to go? I kept enclosing the word “record” in quotation marks. What do we call the “record” in the linked data environment. Data view?
This is the second in a two-part series on how libraries might start thinking ahead for BIBFRAME, a standard that is being developed to replace MARC. Much has happened since we last talked about BIBFRAME in October. The website underwent a reorganization, a BIBFRAME editor (for “record” input) was previewed at ALA Midwinter, early implementers are beginning to report on their experiences thus far, and the BIBFRAME Vocabulary and BIBFRAME Authorities specifications were published (note: all of the BIBFRAME documents should be considered to be in “draft” status).
Comments from the community seem to be swaying away from the “this new model is too extreme to accommodate the granularity of our current data” view to “this new model is too conservative to carry our data into the semantic web” view. The concern that the architects of BIBFRAME are seeking to replace MARC rather than remodel bibliographic data in a way that utilizes modern web technologies (particularly in the areas of data exchange) is becoming more pervasive. Now seems to be a great time to discuss a remodel of our data. Does the scope of our data remodel require applying a new coat of paint or demolishing the whole structure and rebuilding from the foundation? How might we use new technologies to meet the fundamental principles of information discovery (and reuse)? All are welcome to participate!
DATE: Tuesday, April 15 TIME: 9:30—10:30am PLACE: Wells Library Room 043 TOPIC: Prepping for BIBFRAME: It’s Time for a Remodel!
RESOURCES YOU MIGHT CONSULT
Good places to start in the new(ish) BIBFRAME documentation (even if you only skim):
 Whether this concern is fair or not, it is a recurring theme throughout the ISQ Winter 2013 issue on the topic, “Evolution of Bibliographic data exchange.” Those who are interested in BIBFRAME and wish to hear an international perspective (from national libraries that already have experience implementing library/archives linked data) may want to read the whole issue.