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Re: Library data is expressed primarily as text strings

From: Karen Coyle <kcoyle@kcoyle.net>
Date: Sat, 03 Sep 2011 13:09:58 -0700
Message-ID: <20110903130958.4212183a1ruj0yhi@kcoyle.net>
To: public-xg-lld@w3.org
Actually, none of the identifiers are coded as "data" (unique  
alphanumeric strings) rather than text. This is an entry for an ISBN:

020 	__ $a 0375409726 (lg. print)

The "identifier" is in the same text string as the parenthetical  
phrase. Ditto the LCCN, the OCLC number, and others. So the way it is  
in a MARC record, the ISBN may not be entered as a unique string. Only  
the items in the fixed fields have that characteristic. Sometimes  
there isn't a parenthetical phrase in the 020 field, but that's an  
accident of the particular situation.

020 	__ $a 1844134571

So in fact nearly all of the variable field data in MARC (with a few  
exceptions, but very few) are untyped text strings.


Quoting Tom Baker <tbaker@tbaker.de>:

> I found the point "Library data is expressed primarily as text strings" to be
> vague as written, so I have sharpened the point [1] to emphasize the  
> difference
> between "unique alphanumeric strings" such as ISBNs and  
> "display-oriented text"
> such as "words and names".  Please read the following paragraph and raise a
> flag if I have somehow "overinterpreted"...:
>     Most information in library data is encoded as display-oriented text
>     strings. Some of the resource identifiers used in library data  
> are based on
>     unique alphanumeric strings, such as ISBNs for books, but most
>     identification is done using words and names.  Some data fields in MARC
>     records are coded uniquely, but there is no clear incentive to include
>     these in all records as few of them are used for library-system  
> functions.
>     Some data fields, such as authority-controlled names and subjects, have
>     associated records in separate files, and these records have identifiers
>     that could be used to represent those entities in library metadata;
>     however, the data formats in current use do not always support  
> inclusion of
>     these identifiers in records, so many of today's library systems do not
>     properly support their use.
> Note "authority-controlled" with hyphen.
> Tom
> [1]  
> http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/lld/wiki/index.php?title=Draft_issues_page_take2&diff=6098&oldid=6090

Karen Coyle
kcoyle@kcoyle.net http://kcoyle.net
ph: 1-510-540-7596
m: 1-510-435-8234
skype: kcoylenet
Received on Saturday, 3 September 2011 20:10:27 UTC

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