Re: Non- and Partial-FRBR Metadata

  (Lurker alert...)

On 9/15/2010 9:23 AM, wrote:
> There are no such restrictions in the inverse direction, so a Work 
> does not need to have an Expression, etc. However, I suspect that 
> expressionless Works will be rare or short-lived; e.g. "lost" Works 
> for which only a brief reference such as author and title are known, 
> or Works yet to be expressed but cited in publisher announcements.

Karen Coyle wrote:

"So it sounds like a work is a sum of its expressions, and without an 
expression there is no work."

In certain cases, "expressionless" works might not be so rare or 
short-lived. When a work were needed as a subject of another work, that 
work might not necessarily have an expression in the concerning database 
(or "grid", if you will), especially if the work hadn't yet appeared in 
a manifestation. To be sure, at least one expression exists out in the 
wild somewhere (even if just as text of a manuscript in some archive), 
but its existence may not need to be asserted at that moment in time. 
This situation happens in humanistic scholarship more than one might think.

In cases of works manifested, I disagree that Expressions would ever be 
"empty", and thus optional in our data, in this case. Even if language 
were the only discrete attribute asserted at the time of data creation, 
that Expression entity may be needed eventually as the subject or object 
of another assertion (e.g. when a translation appears). So, even if 
stand-alone "empty" Expressions aren't useful as such, nor do they cause 
harm by virtue of their existence, IMHO.

Thanks for reading,

Casey A. Mullin
Discovery Metadata Librarian
Metadata Development Unit
Stanford University Libraries


"Those who need structured and granular data and the precise retrieval that results from it to carry out research and scholarship may constitute an elite minority rather than most of the people of the world (sadly), but that talented and intelligent minority is an important one for the cultural and technological advancement of humanity. It is even possible that if we did a better job of providing access to such data, we might enable the enlargement of that minority."
-Martha Yee

Received on Monday, 27 September 2010 17:42:54 UTC