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Bruce, we have a protoype up which might provide *some* of what you are
talking about below. (And yes, there are a variety of ways in which it could
be improved.)

See http://alcme.oclc.org/eprintsUK/index.html (which is more memorably
linked from our ResearchWorks page
http://www.oclc.org/research/researchworks/).

Alternatively, click on the 'errol' in my signature below.

The Library of Congress Name Authority File is available for human and
machine interaction (the latter as a web service as you suggest).

We have a demonstrator working internally where we use it to provide a name
lookup service from within a local instance of Dspace.

My colleague Jeff Young ([log in to unmask]) would be happy to answer any
queries.

One could imagine a variety of ways of capturing a string for sending to the
web service.

Lorcan

Lorcan Dempsey
VP, Research, OCLC
http://www.oclc.org/research
http://errol.oclc.org/laf/n90-602202.html

-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce D'Arcus [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, June 14, 2004 3:36 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [MODS] semantic web and mads? (was MADS: XML schema for
authorities)


On Thu, 10 Jun 2004 13:14:37 -0400, "Barbara B Tillett" <[log in to unmask]>
said:

> I've spoken and written for several years about the concepts of a
> virtual international authority file.  One use is for international
> displays to let the user decide the language/script they want to
> prefer, while enabling the clustering/linking of variant forms to
> enhace the precision of searches.  Other possibilities are to provide
> links/navigation to resources by or about the entity identified by the
> authority data (links to authoritative biographical references, links
> to bibliographic databases for works by/about the person or corporate
> body or family or on a particular subject (concept, event, place,
> time, object)).  There are many possibilities, and I'd love to see
> MADS enable more than we can do with MARC. - Barbara Tillett

Yes, I was thinking about some of this sort of thing as I was thinking about
the possiblities of MADS.  As a consumer of bibliographic data, I can
envision a few years down the road an LoC-based web service where I could
highlight an author name in an article I am reading onscreen, select an
option and retreive the authority file for information on the author,
including links to other references, and the ability to then link from there
to local library catalogs.

The more I think of the possiblities, the more I see parallels with the
RDF/semantic web stuff.  Anyone looked at the FOAF work?  It's an RDF schema
that represent, among other things, people and their relationships.

Here's a rather complete example of such a file:

http://norman.walsh.name/foaf

Bruce