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BIBFRAME  August 2016

BIBFRAME August 2016

Subject:

Re: Life after MARC?

From:

"SHIN, MARLA J CTR USAF AFMC AFRL/RVIL" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 13:50:13 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (1 lines)

I'm with Karen. I was a reference librarian for most of my career, and to me the main purpose of the catalog is to help the patrons find the information they need. Frankly I haven't seen anything in all this bibframe that is an improvement. 
Marla Shin

-----Original Message-----
From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Karen Coyle
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2016 5:01 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] Life after MARC?

One of the key questions, for which we do not currently have an answer, is: What are the goals of the catalog? Cutter had his, in 1876:

1. To enable a person to find a book of which either 

A. the author
B. the title        is known
C. the subject

2. To show what the library has 

D. by a given author
E. on a given subject
F. in a given kind of literature

3. To assist in the choice of a book 

G. as to its edition (bibliographically) H. as to its character (literary or topical)


Those make sense, but of course we are no longer in 1876; our "recorded information" world is larger, more complex, and the users of the catalog are considerably different people than the users of Cutter's time.

The latest version of the International Cataloging Principles has these goals:

6.1.1 to find a single resource
6.1.2 to find sets of resources representing:
  all resources belonging to the same work
  all resources embodying the same expression
  all resources exemplifying the same manifestation
  all resources associated with a given person, family, or corporate body
  all resources on a given thema
  all resources defined by other criteria (language, place of publication, publication date, content form, media type, carrier type, etc.),  usually as a secondary limiting of a search result;
6.2 to identify a bibliographic resource or agent (that is, to confirm that the described entity corresponds to the entity sought or to distinguish between two or more entities with similar characteristics);
6.3 to select a bibliographic resource that is appropriate to the user’s needs (that is, to choose a resource that meets the user’s requirements with respect to medium, content, carrier, etc., or to reject a resource as being inappropriate to the user’s needs);
6.4 to acquire or obtain access to an item described (that is, to provide information that will enable the user to acquire an item through purchase, loan, etc., or to access an item electronically through an online connection to a remote source); or to access, acquire, or obtain authority data or bibliographic data;
6.5 to navigate within a catalogue, through the logical arrangement of bibliographic and authority data and the clear presentation of relationships among entities beyond the catalogue, to other catalogues and in non-library contexts.


I think these ICP principles are pretty bizarre (I sent my comments to the IFLA request for comments - on this and other parts of the document) and have a weird sense of how systems work (if any at all). It seems to focus almost entirely on known item or at least quite specific catalog searches. Only 6.5 hints that the catalog has structure, and, as I said in some recent blogs posts[1], the structure being created by descriptive cataloging is almost never handled adequately by systems. 


With BIBFRAME we do not know what the goals are. They are not spelled out, either in terms of cataloging decisions nor in terms of catalog goals. So asking whether BIBFRAME "works well" needs to be preceded by a definition of what "works well" would mean. 


kc

[1] Gathered into a single document here: http://kcoyle.net/catcon.html






On 8/12/16 2:37 PM, Simon Spero wrote:


	On Aug 12, 2016 12:58 PM, "SHIN, MARLA J CTR USAF AFMC AFRL/RVIL" <[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> > wrote:
	> Jeff Edmunds wrote:
	>> Is everyone here convinced that BIBFRAME is inevitable?

	> Frankly, I hope not.

	[Assuming I'm parsing RVIL right, if the question was whether there were life on Mars, you would be well positioned to ask around and get the offer "would you like there not to be?" :-P]

	There is not yet sufficient evidence to determine whether or not the BIBFRAME model of the bibliographic universe will or will not see widespread adoption broad enough to displace FRBR and RDA, regardless of the carrier ( MODS is a useful comparison). 
	
	BIBFRAME will become inevitable only if it proves itself to be superior to other approaches by some set of criteria, or if it is mandated for extrinsic reasons. 

	I have not seen any published quantative work comparing the efficiency of BIBFRAME vs FRBR+RDA+MARC vs schema.org <http://schema.org>  vs ONIX, etc. .  Such work would be expected to compare the ability of the information represented  using the different models to perform the normal tasks that bibliographic descriptions are used for.  Some evaluation can be performed prior to the implementation of  any large scale systems. 

	For example, it is economically important to be able to determine whether two descriptions are  describing the same thing, to avoid accidental acquisition of duplicate items, or to efficiently route ILL requests.  A system that supports a finer granularity of modeling may provide better discrimination ; however a more complicated model may tend to produce descriptions that contain more errors, and thus offer worse deduplication.  

	Another important task for bibliographic descriptions is to connect patrons with appropriate  information. The ability of the different models to support this kind of task can be evaluated using regular information retrieval evaluation procedures. 
	These procedures can be be used to determine how much difference recording, distinguishing or collapsing different aspects of a description has for different recorded user tasks.  They can also be used to determine how sensitive different search strategies are to incorrect information. 

	It is also desirable to estimate how much it costs to determine and record a piece of information. 
	If it costs a dollar to generate part of a description (at a certain level of granularity, and to some level of accuracy), and the expected benefit of doing so is two dollars, then it is makes sense to do so. If the expected benefit is only 50¢ then it doesn't (like Panni-Z said,  "I got 91 rules and your room ain't one of them"). 

	Of course, even if a cost/benefit analysis argues against recording some part of a description in the general case, there might be some regular identifiable situations where the benefits are sufficient to justify the costs. Similarly, it might be possible to design a different framework for the future of bibliographic control that reduces the cost or increases the accuracy weighted benefits enough to tilt the balance. 

	Is this ruler necessary? 

	Simon 
	


--
Karen Coyle
[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>  http://kcoyle.net
m: +1-510-435-8234
skype: kcoylenet/+1-510-984-3600

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