I keep bumping my head against "It is anticipated that the BIBFRAME
Authority ... would be identified with a URI of the domain creating the
resource." I'm not exactly sure what the implications are here. Is it
saying that the first organization (or person) creating a description of
a resource would be responsible for creating all needed BIBFRAME
authorities and mint them under its own domain? If this is the case, is
it expected that these BIBFRAME authorities would be shareable, that is,
once created, no one else would need create a BIBFRAME authority for the
same entity? One issue I see here is that if BIBFRAME hopes to be
adopted beyond the library world, there may be many that cannot use the
model because they do not have a domain. Also, if these BIBFRAME
authorities are meant to be created once, how will they be editable by
others outside the domain? For instance, I may discover an ORCID ID I
wish to add. On the other hand, if each group that wishes to make use
of the data for the resource needs to have its own version of the
BIBFRAME authority, the duplication is frightening.
In a practical way, I'm trying to think of this model in application to
a digital collection we have here of 400K images, documents, etc. called
REVS (all centered around the automobile). If we adopted BIBFRAME, I'd
like to be able to use it to communicate all of our data, not just the
small percentage that qualifies as traditional library. Given the size
of the collection, lower level staff or students will be responsible for
creation of the metadata (and so the BIBFRAME authorities). The
possibility that separate BIBFRAME authorities would be created for the
same entity is extremely high. The likelihood that we could afford the
time to add links to authority files such as VIAF (if the entity existed
there) is minimal. In cleaning up a heading in our catalog that was
previously uncontrolled, it is not unusual to find 4 or 5 variants. I
assume in the REVS situation we might have many more BIBFRAME
authorities then that for the same entity.
And so .... in this model I'm left with a bunch of isolated BIBFRAME
authorities for the same entity both isolated from each other in our own
domain and isolated from any larger, more traditional authority file.
This certainly defeats the purpose of using a URI in terms of linking
but does it matter if BIBFRAME is only meant for communication? Is the
reconciliation a separate problem?
At first glance, I'd prefer pursuing methods of easing the creation (and
in some cases automated) of more traditional records in a networked
cluster of authority hubs and following the Direct method.
Philip E. Schreur
Head, Metadata Department