Yes, people do complain, and maybe catalogers most of all! :-)

Note that for the MARC21rdf vocabulary, we used the MARC fields with a
simple scheme for indicators and subfields--essentially in cataloger's
secret language, opaque to everyone else. (


On Thu, May 30, 2013 at 10:58 AM, Trail, Nate <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I am beginning to see a common thread: People complain. :)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum [mailto:
> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Karen Coyle
> Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2013 10:32 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] Consistency
> On 5/30/13 6:34 AM, Trail, Nate wrote:
> > I'm not so worried about RDA rules on using terms instead of codes. If a
> cataloger chooses a text term from a picklist, she may think she's recorded
> the term, but behind the scenes, a uri is recorded. Both sides are happy.
> > Nate
> Nate, you are right, but there's a catch. Let me tell a story. When we
> were creating the RDF for RDA we decided to use the RDA name for the term
> in the RDF property. In part this was so that JSC could look at the RDF in
> the Metadata Registry and see the correlation with their work.
> This, however, resulted in teratologies like:
> People complained.
> In creating the RDF for FRBRer, Gordon Dunsire decided to use codes
> instead. At some point, codes will be displayed to humans as friendly
> language terms, but early developers end up seeing the URIs with the codes
> themselves. So what they see is:
> People complained.
> The upshot is that it doesn't matter whether it's a code, a language term,
> or a randomly generated set of characters. What matters is whether YOU
> understand it. MARC terms have become a language because people understand
> the codes directly, without any translation to natural language. We know
> that in the future cataloging interfaces will show catalogers something
> that they, presumably, understand. We also need to help early developers
> and reviewers get a grip on what they are looking at. I find it
> interesting/odd that so many RDF or OWL ontologies do not display natural
> language labels in the place of URIs. Even though the mantra is that URIs
> are for machines, we keep showing them to people.
> kc
> p.s. The BIBFRAME vocabulary pages are very nice, and in fact COULD mask
> URIs that don't use terms. But I bet someone would complain about how hard
> it is to remember the URL for the page. :-)
> >
> > -------------------------------------------
> > Nate Trail
> > -------------------------------------------
> > Library of Congress
> > 202-707-2193
> > [log in to unmask]
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum [mailto:
> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bernhard Eversberg
> > Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2013 6:21 AM
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] Consistency
> >
> >    29.05.2013 18:59, Diane Hillmann:
> >> I found the same kinds of things when aggregating NSDL data about a
> >> decade ago, though of course on a smaller scale! (Defaults with
> >> various misspellings of 'unknown' were my particular trigger). I think
> >> that what would help us avoid having to cope with crappy text into our
> >> dotage is to build tools that help us serve up standardized text when
> >> we think we still need it, while not actually creating or storing it
> >> as text. We know humans will continue to make these kinds of errors if
> >> we ask them to enter text during the cataloging process, but if users
> >> need to see these kinds of notes, we need to build smarter tools to
> make it happen.
> >>
> > Exactly. I cannot understand why RDA does not, wherever possible,
> advocate the use of codes instead of English text. And all MARC specimens
> of RDA data abound with verbiage although codes do exist, as for example in
> the 33X's. One important aspect  is international exchange and multilingual
> catalog interfaces, the other is most certainly consistency. As you point
> out, software should of course be able to catalogers with comfortably
> inputting codes with not having to know the numbers or acronyms literally,
> and OPAC software can display whatever text is found suitable for the
> situation at hand. Imstead, English language verbosity and loquatiousness
> abound in the data, with excessively long labels in XML designs to make
> your head spin and at the same time increasing the probability of errors,
> i.e.
> > inconsistencies.
> > The front end for catalogers will likely be the most important aspect of
> RDA cataloging if it is ever to become a success story.
> > It will have to be much more efficient than MARC.
> > With BIBFRAME, I see little hope of this happening, more to the contrary.
> > (Furthermore, it doesn't help that the RDA scripture is under lock and
> key of a global monopoly.)
> >
> > B.Eversberg
> --
> Karen Coyle
> [log in to unmask]
> ph: 1-510-540-7596
> m: 1-510-435-8234
> skype: kcoylenet