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Re: Disjointedness of FRBR classes

From: Tom Baker <tbaker@tbaker.de>
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2011 23:58:22 -0400
To: Karen Coyle <kcoyle@kcoyle.net>
Cc: Tom Baker <tbaker@tbaker.de>, public-lld@w3.org
Message-ID: <20111024035822.GA17416@julius>
On Sun, Oct 23, 2011 at 07:25:28PM -0700, Karen Coyle wrote:
> >What is the actual rationale, or requirement, for precision?  If
> >the answer has
> >to do with "quality control for cataloging", then perhaps there
> >are other ways
> >to achieve this.
> 
> As I understand it, the rationale is based on the wide sharing of
> data -- and not just that there is some sharing of data elements but
> libraries share entire records as a way to avoid duplication of
> effort. They also spend a lot of time merging records creating for
> the same things but in slightly different contexts. However, there
> has been no real study of how much 'sameness' is necessary for these
> functions, so it may be the case that 'same' does not mean every
> data element needs to be the same. That said, library cataloging has
> been designed to achieve 'same' across institutions, and there is
> criticism of RDA for allowing too much latitude for decision-making
> at the local level.

That requirement sounds like what I think of as "quality control".  The
question, as I see it, is whether enforcement of quality requires extreme
semantics such as disjoint classes -- or whether the same goal of high-quality,
consistent data can be achieved with semantically friendlier means.  I suspect
it very definitely can...

> Now that there is talk of cloud computing for libraries there may be
> fewer local record modifications being made, and 'same' will mean
> accepting what is in the cloud. That does not make catalogers happy
> because they have a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong,
> and many records created outside of their particular institution
> turn up in the 'wrong' category.

I see the problem.  If interpretations from two particular institutions
contradict each other and, by definition, one of them _must_ be wrong, but 
one has no basis for deciding which is wrong, what's the data consumer to
do?  Is this not an inevitability, to be anticipated?

> >Perhaps the RDF expressions could be put up for review, and the Semantic Web
> >community could be invited to have a look at them from a formal
> >point of view.
> >I'd expect one would get ALOT of comments on the disjointness of
> >those classes.
> 
> Maybe this is a first or second activity of the LLD community group,
> if it gets started. I would guess that there are folks working with
> bibliographic data who would be disappointed if they couldn't link
> relatively easily to library resources, so there should be a group
> of non-library folks with an interest in making sure this can be
> done.

If I correctly understand, the problem is not just one of interoperability with
non-library data, but of interoperability within the library world.  But I
agree that the key would be to get non-library folks with an interest in
library content -- and I think there should be enough out there -- to help
review the formal semantics.

> >Does anyone know if the RDA properties have already started to be
> >used in data?
> >Does the status "published" mean they are intended already to be used in
> >production data?  It sounds like there are still quite a few open
> >issues to be
> >considered.
> 
> The RDA properties do not yet have status 'published.' There are a
> few value lists that have been published, but the majority is still
> 'proposed.' I've used RDA properties in the Open Library RDF. I have
> seen them used in library RDF in the LLD data sets. I believe that
> the XC project uses some RDA properties.[3] No one that I know is
> using RDA heavily - most are selecting only a few properties that
> aren't available elsewhere. And I would bet that many of them are
> not compliant with RDA's FRBR domains and ranges, although the
> registered RDA properties [4] are not as strictly defined (yet) as
> FRBRer.[5]

Then maybe it's not too late to make a push to ensure that choices are made
which maximize the usability of RDA outside of (the shrinking world of)
cataloging departments...?

Tom

> [1] http://dlib.org/dlib/january10/hillmann/01hillmann.html
> [2] http://annotation.lanl.gov/premis/
> [3] http://extensiblecatalog.org/
> [4] http://metadataregistry.org/rdabrowse.htm
> [5] http://metadataregistry.org/schema/show/id/5.html

-- 
Tom Baker <tom@tombaker.org>
Received on Monday, 24 October 2011 03:58:55 GMT

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