Archive for the ‘PSI’ Category

PSIs Going Viral?

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Publishing subject identifiers with node makes me wonder if PSIs (Published Subject Identifiers) are about to go viral?

This server software, written in Javascript, is an early release and needs features and bug fixes (feel free to contribute comments/fixes).

As it matures we could see a proliferation of PSI servers.

Key to that is downloading, installing, breaking, complaining, return to downloading. 😉

As Graham Moore says on TopicMapMail: “This is very cool.”

URIs As Shorthand

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Inge Henriksen made me realize that URIs are being used as a shorthand for the {set of properties} that identify subjects.

A user recognizes a subject by observing/recognizing some {set of properties}.

They then choose a URI as the shorthand for the {set of properties} they recognized.

To interchange a URI with others, the other users need to know what {set of properties} map to the URI.

Corollary: If no {set of properties} maps to a URI, there is no interchange.

Well, no reliable interchange.

Inge could use to identify himself. I could use to identify Gjetost cheese. If the URI did not map to a set of properties, how would you choose between them?

(Detail: Less than all the properties in the {set of properties} may identify a subject. I’ll talk about that at a later point.)

Authority Record (Another Way To Say PSI?)

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

I think the Library of Congress has the best definition I have found for an “authority record“:

An authority record is a tool used by librarians to establish forms of names (for persons, places, meetings, and organizations), titles, and subjects used on bibliographic records. Authority records enable librarians to provide uniform access to materials in library catalogs and to provide clear identification of authors and subject headings. For example, works about “movies,” “motion pictures,” “cinema,” and “films” are all entered under the established subject heading “Motion pictures.”

Note that authority records help:

  • …provide uniform access to materials…
  • …provide clear identification…

If rather than “access” you said provide a basis for merging two topics together, I would swear you were talking about a PSI.

If you added that it provides a “clear identification” of a subject, then I would know you were talking about a PSI.

Well, except that PSI are supposed to be resolveable URIs, etc.

Seems to me that we need to re-think the decision to privilege URIs as identifiers for subjects. Libraries around the world, to say nothing of professional organizations, have been creating authority records that act much as PSIs do for many subjects.

Do we really want to re-invent all of those authority records? (Not to mention all the mileage and good will we would gain from using existing sets of authority records.)