Archive for the ‘RDA’ Category

The RDA Vocabularies: Implementation, Extension, and Mapping

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

NISO/DCMI Webinar: “The RDA Vocabularies: Implementation, Extension, and Mapping”

If you are unfamiliar with RDA, I would suggest the D-Lib article, RDA Vocabularies: Process, Outcome, Use, by Diane Hillmann, Karen Coyle, Jon Phipps, and Gordon Dunsire, cited by the webinar announcement as a starting point.

The article concludes (in part, emphasis added):

But the benefit of using a modern and fully registered standard is not only to others — library reliance on data standards that require that all data be created by hand by highly trained individuals is clearly unsustainable. In a recent presentation to an audience at ALA Annual in Chicago, Jon Phipps demonstrated that continued library use of a standard only we understand has cut us off from reuse of data being built exponentially by entities such as DBpedia, which are clearly, for a host of reasons, choosing not to access and reuse library data [Phipps] [DBpedia]. Only by changing what we do in library environments can we hope to participate with other large users of data in building better descriptive data that we can then hope to reuse to improve our own services.

I don’t disagree with the assessment but am not altogether sure about the solution. That is to say that what constitutes the “common standard” varies from time to time. Cataloging in Latin would have been the most accessible once upon a time. And those records still exist.

As we chase another “standard,” what provision have we made not to cut ourselves (and users) off from prior information?

While we pursue exposing users to the equivalent of an coarsely edited annual Almanac of fact, surmise and rumor.

I don’t think you will find the answer with RDA.

Still, you may find the webinar informative (if a bit pricey).

From the post:

DATE: 16 November 2011
TIME: 1:00pm – 2:30pm EDT (17:00-19:30 UTC)


During a meeting at the British Library in May 2007 between the Joint Steering Committee for the Development of RDA and DCMI, important recommendations were forged for the development of an element vocabulary, application profile, and value vocabularies [1], based on the Resource Description and Access (RDA) standard, then in final draft. A DCMI/RDA Task Group [2] has completed much of the work, and described their process and decisions in a recent issue of D-Lib Magazine [3]. A final, pre-publication technical review of this work is underway, prior to adoption by early implementers.

This webinar will provide an up-to-the-minute update on the review process, as well as progress on the RDA-based application profiles. The webinar will discuss practical implementation issues raised by early implementers and summarize issues surfaced in virtual and face-to-face venues where the vocabularies and application profiles have been discussed.



Diane Hillmann is Vocabulary Management Officer for DCMI and a partner in the consulting firm Metadata Management Associates. She is co-chair (with Gordon Dunsire) of the DCMI/RDA Task Group and is the DCMI Liaison to the ALA Committee on Cataloging: Description and access, the US body providing feedback on RDA Development.

Thomas Baker, DCMI Chief Information Officer (Communications, Research and Development), was recently co-chair of the W3C Semantic Web Deployment Working Group and a W3C Incubator Group on Library Linked Data (report pending).


For registration and webinar technical information, see Registration closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on 16 November 2011.

All Identifiers, All The Time – LOD As An Answer?

Friday, November 19th, 2010

I am still musing over Thomas Neidhart’s comment:

To understand this identifier you would need implicit knowledge about the structure and nature of every possible identifier system in existence, and then you still do not know who has more information about it.

Aside from questions of universal identifier systems failing without exception in the past, which makes one wonder why this system should succeed, there are other questions.

Such as why would any system need to encounter every possible identifier system in existence?

That is the LOD effort has setup a strawman (apologies for the sexism) that it then proceeds to blow down.

If a subject has multiple identifiers in a set and my system recognizes only one out of three, what harm has come of the subject having the other two identifiers?

There is no processing overhead since by admission the system does not recognize the other identifier so it doesn’t process them.

The advantage being that some other system make recognize the subject on the basis of the other identifiers.

This post is a good example of that practice.

I had a category “Linked Data,” but I added a category this morning, “LOD,” just in case people search for it that way.

Why shouldn’t our computers adapt to how we use identifiers (multiple ones for the same subjects) rather than our attempting (and failing) to adapt to universal identifiers to make it easy for our computers?

RDA: Resource Description and Access

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

RDA: Resource Description and Access

From the website:

RDA: Resource Description and Access is the new standard for resource description and access designed for the digital world. Built on the foundations established by AACR2, RDA provides a comprehensive set of guidelines and instructions on resource description and access covering all types of content and media. (emphasis in original)

In case you are interested in the draft of 2008 version, just to get the flavor of it, see:

More to follow on RDA and topic maps.