NISO recently announced the winter 2013 issue of Information Standards Quarterly (ISQ) is available and its theme is the evolution of bibliographic data exchange. This issue is edited by OCLC’s Ted Fons and is freely available on the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) ISQ site.
The Metadata Discussion Group (MDG) tackled BIBFRAME in our October discussion and we agreed that we would like to see more concrete examples of BIBFRAME in action. Therefore, I was thrilled that Jackie Shieh wrote about George Washington University Libraries experience as an early experimenter in the BIBFRAME initiative. While is article focuses more on the administrative side, it is possible that we will start seeing the results of these early experimenters soon. Zepheira and LC’s 2014 plans for BIBFRAME focus on software development and demonstrations, as well as short-term analysis of lingering issues.
It is difficult for library staff to comprehend and anticipate how linked data will affect our workflow, the display of our bibliographic records, and user access/retrieval. I feel like BIBFRAME is a massive trust exercise and we cross our fingers that those who are building and tweaking the model are leading us in the right direction. But, we should try to read as much as possible on the subject since it impacts us greatly. NISO webinars and their publications have been good resources for us on best practices in the library community.
There are two Linked Data presentations from ALA Midwinter available.
The January 26th 3-4PM session Linked Data for Holdings and Cataloging: The First Step Is Always the Hardest! recording is quite good. Eric Miller (Zepheira) and Richard Wallis (OCLC) are the presenters of this linked data session.
Miller’s presentation discussed the importance of defining clear relationships; plus, more contextual information on the web will allow libraries to share their amazing collections via common search engines (holdings). He then touches on BIBFRAME and how the data model aims to be nimble enough to support the work of the past 50 years and the challenges of the next 50 years.
Wallis discussed Schema.org–a vocabulary for describing webpages that was produced by major search engines. OCLC chose Schema.org for their WorldCat linked data project because of Schema.org’s broad adoption by the likes of Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Wallis goes on to state that while this vocabulary is not robust enough for libraries, we aren’t limited to using only one standard with linked data–they intermix.
He illustrated how the WorldCat linked data project helped make more obscure items (like dissertations) show up on the first page of a Google search. Plus, he briefly discusses the following data sets OCLC made available as linked data last year: Dewey Decimal Classification, FAST, and VIAF.
The second part of this presentation is audio, but the links associated with the speakers contain their slides. Violeta Ilik (Texas A&M University Library) & Jeremy Myntti (Head of Cataloging & Metadata Services at University of Utah – J. Willard Marriott Library) separately tried some small linked data projects using the Viewshare tool.
Viewshare is a service provided by LC for digital collections. It helps users generate and customize views (using interactive maps, timelines, facets, tag clouds) so users can interact more with the collection. Both speakers discovered some interesting trends and inconsistencies in their metadata. Good stuff!
The Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS) Editorial Committee announced the posting of a draft MODS/RDF ontology. MODS, a descriptive metadata schema that is loosely based on MARC, is widely used to describe objects in libraries, archives, and museums. The new MODS/RDF ontology promises to usher MODS (and bibliographic data) into the realm of linked data. The MODS namespace has been under development for some time. The timing of the release of the MODS/RDF draft seems to be in response to the recent launch of BIBFRAME.org.
The MODS/RDF ontology homepage includes links to a primer, the MODS/RDF namespace document, and examples of MODS/RDF records. For those wanting to test drive the transformation of MODS/XML files to MODS/RDF, there is a stylesheet available as well.
The MODS Editorial Committee welcomes feedback on the draft ontology via the MODS listserv, where a number of MODS implementers have already commented on the draft.
MADS: Successful Linked Data Implementation
The MODS companion schema for authority data, Metadata Authority Description Schema (MADS), has already been published as linked data via the Library of Congress Linked Data Service. Click on the screenshot below to go to the authority record.
Previous MDG posts have discussed the Bibliographic Framework Initiative (BIBFRAME), a linked data model for bibliographic data. LC hired Zepheira to release the initial model which will translate our MARC format to a linked data model.
Kevin Ford, LC’s Project Manager for the Linked Open Data Service recently used the BIBFRAME listserv to announce the release of bibframe.org. According to Ford, bibframe.org is a new website for detailed information about the in-development, draft BIBFRAME vocabulary.
It also includes demonstrations of the BIBFRAME model using MARC bibliographic records from experimenters’ collections. You can view sample collections from these key libraries on the Demos tab of bibframe.org:
Two intriguing tools that appear to still be under construction are the Transformation and Comparison Services. The Comparison service will allow users to view a before and after presentation of a MARC record from the Library of Congress’s database as BIBFRAME resources. The Transformation service will allow users to submit MARC Bibliographic records (as MARC/XML) and view them as BIBFRAME resources.
Finally, the draft BIBFRAME vocabulary will allow users to see the relationship with MARC and any related RDA notes. Below is a relationship example that shows the property, description, and the MARC mapping for the 521 (Intended Audience) field.
Right before the holiday, the Library of Congress Bibliographic Framework Initiative announced the publication of a draft data model, Bibliographic Framework as a Web of Data: Linked Data Model and Supporting Services, or BIBFRAME for short.
The document begins with an overview of the proposed data model. Description of the data model starts out fairly basic (you’ll see a lot of FRBR-like terms) and then gets a bit more complex. A glossary is included to help define terms (serialization, JSON) that may be unfamiliar. The authors then define linked open data (enter Tim Berners-Lee’s four principles of linked data and that good old linked data cloud diagram). This section is followed up by a quick review of linked data initiatives already undertaken by libraries and others. Concluding words include a forecast for future work in linked library data.
Six institutions (called Early Experimenters) will begin testing this data model: British Library, Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, George Washington University, National Library of Medicine, OCLC, and Princeton University, and the Library of Congress. An update session is planned for ALA Midwinter in Seattle on Sunday, January 27, 2013 from 10:30-12:00 in the Conference Center of the Washington Convention Center, Room 304.
I came across a conference session summary that may be of interest: “Explaining Linked Data to your Pro Vice Chancellor.” The big ‘why’ question is often asked by librarians. Catalogers, who are loathe to undergo a data conversion without a clear cost/benefit analysis, are particularly vocal on this question.
The session write up assumes that the reader is already on board the linked data train and gives strategies and talking points for communicating the value of linked data to administrators: “It’s about the outcomes and the solutions, not the technologies.” The business case for linked data includes funding opportunities, new services, and cost savings.
The arguments given for linked data may also be expanded to open data.