When a library posts a job with the position title “Bayesian
Probabilistic Model of Algorithmic Metadata Manager,” let me know. ;)
Seriously though, I understand that my statements about linked
*everything* can seem like a straw person argument. But the point I’m
trying to make is that I question the added value libraries will bring
to the current information ecosystem simply by exposing and sharing
their metadata, especially when the resources they point to are often
proprietary and not accessible to the public.
As our participation in the Google Books project taught us, the
collections of large academic research libraries overlap heavily--we all
have the same stuff. As a result, we all have the same metadata. The
same is certainly true of most public and school libraries in the US.
There are titles EVERYONE has. Will exposing metadata for these
resources add value for users?
Of course there are innumerable local unique collections. Ironically,
these are the ones that are the least-described (i.e. for which the
least amount of granular metadata is available; see "More Product, Less
Process: Revamping Traditional Archival Processing" by Mark A. Greene
and Dennis Meissner). These would have to be fully cataloged (and fully
digitized if access, rather than simply discovery, were an issue) for
them to add value in a LOD ecosystem. I don’t see that happening.
So the evolution and scenario you describe are fine. Maybe there will be
folks in libraries who “curate a series of algorithms that define how
information is retrieved and used locally at the point of need.” But
someone, somewhere, has to create the metadata underpinning the system;
someone, somewhere, has to perform the authority (or if you prefer,
identity management) work that is crucial for linked data to work. And
someone, somewhere has to pay for all this. For me, this is where things
break down. As Martynus said in the Failure thread, “there are no
technical obstacles for the success of BIBFRAME, only economic and
political ones.” In my view, those obstacles are insurmountable, and
that's precisely why I posited that "BIBFRAME will fail."
On Mon, 6 Feb 2017 16:32:47 +0000, Stephen Meyer
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>On Feb 6, 2017, at 8:57 AM, Jeff Edmunds
<[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>But for the sake of argument let’s imagine that every library worldwide
>has implemented (to a greater or lesser degree) the principles of
>Open Data and shared (to a greater or lesser degree) its metadata in
>some fairly standardized way using more-or-less agreed upon
>and schemas. I would argue that in an online world in which everything
>is linked to everything else, NOTHING is contextualized. Everything has
>been effectively robbed of context. Cf. the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
>Jeff, this feels very much like a straw person argument. None of the
examples that have been held up (Google's knowledge cards, Bibliothèque
nationale de France, our simple cards) link everything to everything.
>I do appreciate this discussion, though, so let me pose something to
you as a cataloger. Might there be a new role for cataloging here?
Specifically, I see a possibility in a Linked Data environment in which
the cataloger takes on the metadata equivalent to the role of the
bibliographer or selector. Rather that managing metadata through the
direct editing of catalog records (irrespective of
supervision/delegation), a cataloger curates a series of algorithms that
define how information is retrieved and used locally at the point of
need. A selector does not read every title purchased despite some
patrons' thoughts to the contrary.
>For example, it could be the policy of a given cataloging department to
trust or not trust data points from Wikipedia derived Linked Data sets.
Or it needn't be so stark: to trust only certain data elements from
DBpedia or Wikidata (just the facts, please!). Or maybe given an Art
History related call number range for a title, check to see if Getty
Vocabularies has any info about the main or added entries? Or given a
sound recording material type, is this an album and does that
MusicBrainz has more detailed track and performer info than my MARC
>It is not hard to imagine an interface in which these kinds of trusted
data source negotiations are managed simply by using URI domains and
ontology/vocabulary predicates. It is a rather profound shift admittedly
to move from the model of total control when editing/loading every
record locally to something that feels like a Bayesian probabilistic
model of algorithmic metadata management. But the major paradigm shift
here may be in the role of staff rather than the focus on RDF triples
and the way we store the bytes.
>There is a natural transition path or roadmap if we focus on authority
control and Linked Data rather than just merely shifting to RDF
serializations. Again, to bring the discussion back to the list topic,
this would suggest that BIBFRAME will be more successful to the extent
that it is the RDF foundation for an extensible metadata environment.
Pragmatically, a BIBFRAME'd catalog should include sameAs assertions,
i.e., it should include actual links, but smartly chosen ones.