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Am forwarding this for Peter, who is a member of the BibX list, but not
MODS it seems...

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> From: Peter Flynn <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Thu Apr 10, 2003  6:45:56  PM US/Eastern
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Cc: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [BibX-list] MODS, bibliographic managers and journal
> articles
>
> On Thu, 2003-04-10 at 20:41, Bruce D'Arcus wrote:
>> I'm a social scientist who has gotten frustrated enough with my
>> writing
>> tools to have been working towards something of a revolution in that
>> realm.  In particular, I'd like to see XML formats replace the
>> currently proprietary and binary files of products like Endnote.
>
> I came from the printing/puiblishing field, so I have a similar desire
> but for other reasons (I have to support a user community who still
> don't understand why they shouldn't "just" italicise this, bold that,
> and underline this, and leave it at that :-)
>
>> The observation is that MODS is currently unsuitable for a reference
>> manager application (whose job is not just to store references, but to
>> precisely format them) because it cannot properly store the most
>> significant source an academic is likely to cite: journal articles.
> [...]
>> Where we kind of
>> stalled is wondering if the MARC/MODS approach of a more limited range
>> of types (text, sound, etc.) and use of "genre" to specify content is
>> more sensible and flexible.
>
> My understanding is that the MARC/MODS formats are intended for
> cataloguing, not bibliographic reference; a whole other field.
> We probably need help from the Library community here, but their
> requirements are rather different: where is this document, have we
> paid for it, it is out on loan, etc, rather than how we format it
> for citation.
>
> While there is a common core, library catalogues are notoriously
> useless
> as a source for citation purposes.
>
>> The key point to recognize is that the model needs not only to be able
>> accurately store bibliographic data, but it needs to subsequently get
>> accurately formatted.  The formatting engine, in other words, has to
>> know what to do with journal articles, versus books, versus book
>> chapters.  This is why, I presume, the more specific "type" one sees
>> in
>> RIS and BibTeX, but am not totally sure if this is necessary or not.
>
> Essential. One of the biggest problems is that cataloguers don't
> classify documents in this way.
>
>> So, why -- if at all -- adopt a more MODS-like approach for this use,
>> or should we just give up on BibX altogether and adopt MODS?
>
> I think we need a usable (if imperfect) public format exhibiting the
> best features of BibX, RefDB, etc, with a reliable import/export to
> MARC and MODS (if possible) -- but we do seriously need some good
> librarians on board here, ones who understand the diff between a
> catalogue and a citation database.
>
> ///Peter
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