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Hi Bernhard,

I think the scenario you described at the end of your email is an
example of an approach to using Linked Data with MARC. However,
instead of focusing on it I am going to respond to your excellent
questions about the "record".

On Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 3:29 AM, Bernhard Eversberg <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Can a MARC record be replaced by a set of Linked Data triples? How could
> the data exchange then actually work? Exchange, up until now, is based
> on records. So what would replace them - or is the new idea and the
> intention now to make the very concept of the bibliographic record
> obsolete? What does that mean for ILSs that used to receive MARC records?

I don't think Linked Data precludes the notion of a record, or even
that the record will be made obsolete. Much to the contrary, I think
Linked Data brings the notion of the record into the spotlight on the
Web. The reason why I say this is that using Linked Data principles
means assigning URLs to the things we care to describe (books,
authors, subjects, etc); and when those URLs are resolved (by your
browser or what have you) you get back a representation [1] of that
resource--which in my mind amounts to what we have historically called
a "record".

For example, here is a URL that identifies "MARC Formats":

    http://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh85080966

When your browser resolves this URL it will receive a text/html
document that describes the subject MARC Formats. When a machine agent
that prefers application/rdf+xml resolves the URL it currently
receives a set of of 226 RDF triples that describe MARC Formats. If
the agent prefers application/json or application/marc+xml it will get
that instead. I apologize if this answer seems burdened with technical
jargon, but your question is a technical one, so unfortunately there
is no avoiding it. Your question also gets to the heart of what Linked
Data means.

> What will it mean for the processes of cataloging and the
> catalogers' user interface?

LC has experimented at id.loc.gov with the exchange of "records" using
Atom feeds. Atom and other syndication technologies (RSS, Sitemaps,
OAI-PMH, etc) allow you to list resources that have been changed along
with their URLs. This allows interested parties to periodically fetch
the feed to see what has changed, and appropriately update their local
databases. You can see this in action at:

    http://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/feed/

That being said, I think there is still plenty of work and
experimentation to do in this area, some of which might even overlap
with the ResourceSync effort at NISO [2]. I hope this helps somewhat,
and doesn't confuse things more. I should be clear that I'm not
speaking for LC in any of these comments, an am just making
observations as someone who has been working in the Linked Data space.

//Ed

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/di-gloss/#def-http-representation
[2] http://www.niso.org/workrooms/resourcesync/