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Re: Fwd: [open-bibliography] Library of Congress subject headings & RDF

From: Ross Singer <rossfsinger@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2011 13:49:38 -0500
Message-ID: <AANLkTimsQCVO+2_uB69W_j+XrAW9kdBUDsFvYXJ_5uJR@mail.gmail.com>
To: Alistair Miles <alimanfoo@googlemail.com>
Cc: SKOS <public-esw-thes@w3.org>
Alistair, these are good pointers and I recall some of this (and did
look at Antoine's summary prior to modeling this).  This is also
exactly why I forwarded from open-bibliography to here, for this kind
of advice.

Here is my rationale for the design choices I made (and, nothing is
set in stone, so I'm persuadable on any of this, really):

1) The decision to use an rdfs:Container (in this case, rdf:Seq) over
rdf:List was merely pragmatic, since, as I mentioned a bit in my
original email, I couldn't be certain that I had all of the resources
being coordinated available (like the name authorities, for example).

I could (easily!) be misinterpreting the definition of rdf
collections, but my understanding was that they were closed lists -
which I thought might be problematic given the fact that I might not
be able to model the entire collection.

2) Since there's nothing in SKOS to explain what kind of a heading it
is (and I'm not arguing that there should be), it's not semantically
obvious what the relationships would be between the resources being
coordinated.

That is, as a human, I can figure out that "20th century" is a
chronological heading and if that heading resource is in a
ConceptScheme for chronological headings, it's possible for me convey
that to my agent with some prior knowledge.

The goal with lcsh:geographicSubdivision, etc. was, assuming there's
some adoption, that relationship wouldn't require prior knowledge and
human intervention for my agent to see explicitly how these resources
were related.

Another approach would be to subclass skos:Concept with
lcsh:GeneralSubdivision or lcsh:FormSubdivision, etc. but my gut
feeling was that was even worse since I don't think most linked data
agents will have any reasoning capability, at least, not in the near
term.

Anyway, I look forward to any comments/suggestions.  Meanwhile, I'll
get working on getting a schema up.

Thanks!
-Ross.

On Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 12:47 PM, Alistair Miles
<alimanfoo@googlemail.com> wrote:
> Hi Ross,
>
> I'm a bit behind the times here, and you've probably seen all these already,
> but for reference, the page at [1] has good links to previous discussions
> of coordination. In particular, Antoine's summary of coordination in the
> SKOS primer [2] is a good summary of where we got to in the SWDWG.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Alistair
>
> [1] http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/wiki/SKOS/Issues/Coordination
> [2] http://www.w3.org/TR/skos-primer/#secconceptcoordination
>
> On Fri, Jan 07, 2011 at 12:16:48PM -0500, Ross Singer wrote:
>> Hi all, forwarding a thread from the open-bibliography
>> (http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/open-bibliography) list here.
>> It started with a question from Owen Stephens about a topic that's
>> come up here before (subdivisions, coordination, etc.).
>>
>> I'm bringing it here because Owen's question prompted me to explain
>> some of the ideas I've been playing around with in this regard in
>> http://lcsubjects.org/ which might be of interest here, as well.
>>
>> First Owen's original post:
>>
>> "Can anyone point me at (or advise me on) examples of representing
>> subject heading fields from a library catalogue record as RDF.
>> Specifically I'm interested in how chained sets of subject headings
>> are represented.
>>
>> E.g. a library catalogue record might have a heading:
>>
>> 650$$aPopular Music$$xHistory$$y20th Century
>>
>> Each one of these headings:
>>
>> Popular Music
>> History
>> 20th Century
>>
>> will have a SKOS representation on id.loc.gov, but to represent each
>> heading separately as a dc:subject (or similar) would lose the context
>> of chaining them together.
>>
>> There are some entries on id.loc.gov that represent some 'chains'
>> (those that have been 'authorised') - e.g.
>> http://id.loc.gov/authorities/sh2008109787#concept is 'Popular
>> Music--History and Criticism' - but for me this doesn't feel quite
>> right - doesn't this lose some of the flexibility of the faceted
>> scheme?
>>
>> I'm wondering about something similar to the way BIBO handles author
>> lists (you can both represent each author, and the list of authors,
>> including order)"
>>
>> and then my reply:
>>
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> From: Ross Singer <ross.singer@talis.com>
>> Date: Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 11:12 AM
>> Subject: Re: [open-bibliography] Library of Congress subject headings & RDF
>> To: List for Working Group on Open Bibliographic Data
>> <open-bibliography@lists.okfn.org>
>>
>>
>> Hi Owen,
>>
>> I agree that the status quo at id.loc.gov is pretty unsatisfying (on
>> several levels, including this one) and this is one the things that I
>> changed for lcsubjects.org in the last redesign (although it's
>> certainly not "fixed" or even remotely standard - but it was intended
>> to get the conversation started in this direction).
>>
>> Thankfully, though, your specific example works :)
>>
>> http://lcsubjects.org/subjects/sh2008109787#concept
>>
>> For subdivided subject headings like this, I've added a few
>> properties: lcsh:coordinates, lcsh:generalSubdivision,
>> lcsh:chronologicalSubdivision, lcsh:primaryConcept, etc.
>>
>> The RDF out of lcsubjects.org is pretty brutally verbose, but directly
>> out of the Platform it looks like:
>> http://api.talis.com/stores/lcsh-info/meta?about=http%3A%2F%2Flcsubjects.org%2Fsubjects%2Fsh2008109787%23concept&output=xml
>>
>> and the coordinates resource is an rdf:Seq (to preserve order):
>>
>> http://api.talis.com/stores/lcsh-info/meta?about=http%3A%2F%2Flcsubjects.org%2Fsubjects%2Fsh2008109787%23coordinates&output=xml
>>
>> This is still totally a work in progress (and incredibly incomplete),
>> but is intended to begin to provide the sort of semantics that you're
>> looking for (I think).  It also (I hope) begins to lay out a
>> foundation for how LCSH is actually intended to be used (which is a
>> set of building blocks).  So to take your original example,
>> "650$$aPopular Music$$xHistory$$y20th Century"
>>
>> This could be created like:
>>
>> <http://example.org/book/1>
>>    dcterms:subject
>> <http://example.org/subjects/popular-music--history--20th-century#concept>.
>>
>> <http://example.org/subjects/popular-music--history--20th-century#concept>
>>    lcsh:generalSubdivision
>> <http://lcsubjects.org/subjects/sh99005024#concept> ;
>>    lcsh:chronologicalSubdivision
>> <http://lcsubjects.org/subjects/sh2002012476#concept>;
>>    lcsh:primaryConcept <http://lcsubjects.org/subjects/sh85088865#concept> ;
>>    a skos:Concept ;
>>    skos:prefLabel "Popular Music--History--20th Century" ;
>>    lcsh:coordinates
>> <http://example.org/subjects/popular-music--history--20th-century#coordinates>
>> .
>>
>> <http://example.org/subjects/popular-music--history--20th-century#coordinates>
>>   a rdf:Seq ;
>>   rdf:_1 <http://lcsubjects.org/subjects/sh85088865#concept> ;
>>   rdf:_2 <http://lcsubjects.org/subjects/sh99005024#concept> ;
>>   rdf:_3 <http://lcsubjects.org/subjects/sh2002012476#concept> .
>>
>> (the lcsubjects.org URIs could just as easily be id.loc.gov URIs -- it
>> was just easier to cut and paste from existing data).
>>
>> With this, it's much easier to make our uncontrolled subject headings
>> that are composites of a bunch of controlled headings.
>>
>> Like I said, this is pretty incomplete on lcsubjects.org, currently,
>> mainly because there's a lot missing (namely the corporate names and
>> random chronological subdivisions, but there are also subdivision
>> terms that don't appear to be derived from an authorized heading).
>> See: http://lcsubjects.org/subjects/sh2010007497 or
>> http://lcsubjects.org/subjects/sh85045754 as somewhat different
>> examples.
>>
>> The first one has a URI for Austria, but that URI returns a 404 (I
>> built this from the Fred 2.0 data, so I have the NAF, I just haven't
>> figured out how to incorporate it into lcsubjects.org, yet).  The
>> second one shows an unauthorized chronological subdivision -- so,
>> currently, it just drops it.
>>
>> Here's another example:  http://lcsubjects.org/subjects/sh85134593#concept
>>
>> this should use: http://lcsubjects.org/subjects/sh99005746#concept as
>> the general subdivision -- but that's an altLabel, so it's currently
>> failing (as you can see, this is wrought with frustations!).
>>
>> Another mind bender: http://lcsubjects.org/subjects/sh2010106574#concept
>>
>> This one chokes, because "Polyglot" isn't an authorized term (instead
>> it should be using http://lcsubjects.org/subjects/sh85037700#concept
>> -- "Dictionaries, Polyglot") and was created after Fred 2.0 (3.5 years
>> after!), so I don't have access to the MARC authority record to
>> properly look things up (not that it would help me in this case,
>> anyway [1]).
>>
>> So, to try to bring this on home..., I think there are solutions (and
>> linked data solutions) to this, but LC is doing very little to enable
>> it.  If they'd provide the original MARC as a format for the concepts,
>> that would be a start -- but, honestly, without all of the data
>> available (including the NAF), this is going to be half-baked.
>>
>> So, anyway, thanks for prompting me to write a bit about this :)
>> Probably worth forwarding to the SKOS list, as well.
>>
>> -Ross.
>>
>> [1] Here's the MARC record for Plastics--Dictionaries--Polyglot:
>> 000     00476cz a2200169n 450
>> 001     8244985
>> 005     20100420002715.0
>> 008     100413|| anannbabn |n ana
>> 035     __ |a (DLC)464428
>> 035     __ |a (DLC)sh2010106574
>> 906     __ |t 8888 |u tc00 |v 0
>> 010     __ |a sh2010106574
>> 040     __ |a DLC |b eng |c DLC
>> 150     __ |a Plastics |v Dictionaries |x Polyglot
>> 667     __ |a Record generated for validation purposes.
>> 670     __ |a Work cat.: Fachwörterbuch Kunststofftechnik, c1992
>> 953     __ |a tc00
>>
>> so there's still not an obvious way to know that one should be looking
>> for Dictionaries, Polyglot.
>>
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 7:18 AM, Owen Stephens <owen@ostephens.com> wrote:
>> > Can anyone point me at (or advise me on) examples of representing subject
>> > heading fields from a library catalogue record as RDF. Specifically I'm
>> > interested in how chained sets of subject headings are represented.
>> > E.g. a library catalogue record might have a heading:
>> > 650$$aPopular Music$$xHistory$$y20th Century
>> > Each one of these headings:
>> > Popular Music
>> > History
>> > 20th Century
>> > will have a SKOS representation on id.loc.gov, but to represent each heading
>> > separately as a dc:subject (or similar) would lose the context of chaining
>> > them together.
>> > There are some entries on id.loc.gov that represent some 'chains' (those
>> > that have been 'authorised') -
>> > e.g. http://id.loc.gov/authorities/sh2008109787#concept is 'Popular
>> > Music--History and Criticism' - but for me this doesn't feel quite right -
>> > doesn't this lose some of the flexibility of the faceted scheme?
>> > I'm wondering about something similar to the way BIBO handles author lists
>> > (you can both represent each author, and the list of authors, including
>> > order)
>> > Thanks,
>> > Owen
>> > --
>> > Owen Stephens
>> > Owen Stephens Consulting
>> > Web: http://www.ostephens.com
>> > Email: owen@ostephens.com
>> >
>>
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > open-bibliography mailing list
>> > open-bibliography@lists.okfn.org
>> > http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/open-bibliography
>> >
>> >
>>
>> -Ross.
>>
>
> --
> Alistair Miles
> Head of Epidemiological Informatics
> Centre for Genomics and Global Health <http://cggh.org>
> The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics
> Roosevelt Drive
> Oxford
> OX3 7BN
> United Kingdom
> Web: http://purl.org/net/aliman
> Email: alimanfoo@gmail.com
> Tel: +44 (0)1865 287669
>
>
Received on Friday, 7 January 2011 18:50:10 UTC

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