One other difference that I see is the typing of the target. This
may not be a vital difference since such typing is non-mandatory
(for whatever mandatory means in the open world of linked data, but
that's a whole other question I have about the OA model). OA uses
dctypes, like "text," "image," "sound." Even for OA I question
whether these are sufficiently granular to be useful ("image" and
"sound" can be a whole plethora of actual digital file types).
As I read the BIBFRAME diagrams, the annotations are intended to
annotate the major "things" of the BIBFRAME world. Will it be useful
to type these as targets? And what would those types be? One
possibility is that "Work" "Instance" and "Authority" are defined as
target types for BIBFRAME use. Another, more general one is that the
type is simply "graph", which is more analogous to the OA types.
The typing of hasBody might be the same as OA, but that's an
hypothesis to be tested.
Then there is the question of whether the target would ever be more
granular than W, I, A? For example, with cataloger notes, one might
want to annotate a particular descriptive statement within, say,
Work. Perhaps it is best to defer this question until more general
ones are answered.
p.s. Except for Kevin I don't believe we have heard from anyone else
involved in the development of the BIBFRAME annotation draft. I
would be interesting to hear if any of this discussion is at all
useful to their thinking.
On 5/7/13 7:48 AM, Owen Stephens wrote:
[log in to unmask]"
My first question about Annotations in Bibframe was about whether
the existing proposed uses of Annotation were 'valid' - or could
be said to meet some criteria as to why they were 'annotations'.
My second is about the differences between Bibframe
annotations and Open Annotation. As bf:Annotation is declared a
subclass of oa:Annotation it seems that there is a desire to
share a common conception of what an 'annotation' is.
The immediately obvious major difference between the way
Bibframe Annotations and OA is that to specify the type of
annotation Bibframe uses subclasses while OA uses the concept of
'motiviation'. I have to admit I struggle to see why Bibframe
should do this differently to OA given that there is so much to
gain through doing it in the same way. If there is anything to
say about why bibframe proposes to do this via subclassing it
would be really good to know, as the OA documentation makes it
clear why they decided to go with the 'motivation' approach http://www.openannotation.org/spec/core/core.html#Motivations
and seems explicitly designed for scenarios such as the BIBFRAME
one where a community has some need to specify a certain type of
In a recent email Rob Sanderson also highlighted another
difference which is allowing the use of literals to carry the
body of an annotation. Again the OA case for not allowing this
is documented http://openannotation.org/spec/core/core.html#BodyEmbed
seems to include some use cases that seem likely to impact on
the library domain - e.g. knowing directionality of text,
knowing how text is encoded. Again I think some explanation of
why Bibframe feels it is important to support the
annotationBodyLiteral would be welcome.
In Eric Miller's recent email he noted that "Ray Denenberg
(the Editor for this doc) [...] sees the compatibility and
interoperability differences to be minor to negligible,". If
these two differences are the major issues here, I tend to agree
that there are not major differences - which, to be honest, just
makes me wonder all the more why they are necessary :)
Dear Karen, all,
In reading your email (the below and others) as
well as one or two emails from other individuals,
it became clear that we missed the forest for the
trees when it comes to basic definition. So, I
wanted to offer up an answer to the basic question
"What is a BIBFRAME Annotation?"
I make no claims to have addressed all of the
questions you raise, but I wanted to start with
the basics before moving on to more specific
details, such as whether BIBFRAME Annotations are
end-user-oriented or cataloger-oriented, which is
a question you asked in a separate email I
believe. Naturally, if this spawns additional
questions, please ask.
What is a BIBFRAME Annotation?
A BIBFRAME Annotation is a resource that enhances
our knowledge about the resource it annotates (the
target resource). A BIBFRAME Annotation manages
this in one of two ways. One way is for the
BIBFRAME Annotation to facilitate an association
between two resources by means of relationships.
The resource being annotated is the target of the
annotation while the resource that otherwise
enhances our knowledge of the target resource is
the body, or payload, of the annotation. The
BIBFRAME Annotation, in this case, serves to say,
"Resource A annotates Resource B, the target
resource." The other way is for the BIBFRAME
Annotation to be itself the carrier of additional
information about the target resource. In this
alternative, the BIBFRAME Annotation does not
function as a lightweight abstraction layer
bridging two resources, but an end resource that
further enhances our knowledge about the target
resource. As a matter of focus, a BIBFRAME
Annotation generally refines our understanding of
the target resource as a whole versus any one
particular aspect or segment of the target
Another distinguishing characteristic about a
BIBFRAME Annotation, as distinct from a BIBFRAME
Work or BIBFRAME Instance, is that *who* asserted
the Annotation is of paramount importance. The
*who* being the agent stating, "This annotates
that." The importance may range from simply
wanting to know, for the sake of completeness, the
source of the added information to needing to make
a value judgment predicated on the identity of
that source. The latter is particularly
meaningful when the additional information may be
subjective in nature. Reviews and ratings fall
squarely into the realm of subjectivity, where
knowing *who* is asserting the value of the review
(not to mention the identity of the reviewer) may
directly inform how the Annotation is treated.
Another way to define a BIBFRAME Annotation in
this regard is by contrast to other BIBFRAME
resources. In the BIBFRAME universe, most of the
"facts" about BIBFRAME Works, Instances, and
Authorities are immutable, and they will likely be
of interest to most users. Creators, producers,
authors, editors, places of publication,
publication dates, publishers, manufacturers,
titles, and much more, do not change per
individual resource. The novel /The Heart of
Midlothian/ by Sir Walter Scott will always be
titled "The Heart of Midlothian" and be by Sir
Walter Scott. Likewise, the instance published in
1878 in New York by G. Munro cannot shake those
facts in just the same way the instance published
in 1885 by J.W. Lovell and company (also in New
York) cannot escape from those facts. These are
unquestionably objective "facts" about those
resources. However, reviews of the Work will be
subjective and come from a myriad of sources, some
of which may be more trusted than others or may be
more suitable to some audiences than others.
Using the BIBFRAME Annotation model for game
ratings provides another example. The
Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) assigns
ratings to games based on content and age.
Australian Classification Board does this for the
Australian market. The Computer Entertainment
Rating Organization (CERO) is the Japanese
equivalent of ESRB. The South Koreans, Germans,
Europeans, and many more groups have their own
rating systems. In the United States, Common
Sense Media is an alternative rating system that
places special emphasis on age appropriateness.
Rating systems abound and, despite similarities,
each will be distinctive to their markets and
audiences. Not only do the systems, by their
nature, proffer subjective evaluations of media
content, their value is only fully realized when
we know *who* has assigned a particular game
rating. The BIBFRAME Annotation model provides a
flexible way to enhance the description of Works
and Instances while enabling a scenario that
maintains a certain separation between objective
"facts" and subjective ones.
The valuable information added by the BIBFRAME
Annotation is, objectively, no less (or more)
important than the information associated directly
with a BIBFRAME Work, Instance, or Authority. It
is just that the information conveyed by means of
a BIBFRAME Annotation is in enriched by knowing
*who* asserted the BIBFRAME Annotation. As a
practical matter, the *who* in this model can
become a filter, allowing consumers (libraries
certainly, but potentially also patrons) to select
annotations based on who asserted the annotation.
I should add that we believe the BIBFRAME
Annotation model to be a positive development that
will allow for a fair amount of flexibility in the
future for libraries, and other implementers, to
augment their data how they deem most appropriate
while leaving the information that remains
constant between descriptions untouched.
We still continue to explore the possibilities and
potential of the BIBFRAME Annotations within the
BIBFRAME model as a whole, so we appreciate the
additional eyes and questions - it is about
identifying and enabling our use cases.
From: Bibliographic Framework Transition
On Behalf Of Karen Coyle
Sent: Friday, May 03, 2013 3:35 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [BIBFRAME] BIBFRAME annotation
I've had a terrible time trying to understand
Open Annotation (why is
this not just an RDF graph showing a
relationship between things? Why
does it get its own formal definition?), and now
I'm looking at
BIBFRAME annotation, pretty much guaranteeing
even greater confusion on
BIBFRAME annotation is described as:
The parties and objects involved in a BIBFRAME
. The Target of the Annotation: A BIBFRAME Work,
Instance, or Authority.
The book, in part 1 of the illustration below.
. The Annotation Body, which is the payload of
the Annotation. The book
. An author, artist, reviewer, etc. who writes
the Annotation Body.
(This role is not represented formally in the
Annotation model, but is
mentioned here to clearly distinguish it from
the Annotator.) The
. The Annotator, who asserts the Annotation.
(The Annotator is not
necessarily the same party as the author, etc.
who wrote the
Annotation.) The Annotator in part 2 of the
. The Annotation itself , which points to the
Body, Target, and
Annotator. The Annotation, in part 2 of the
illustration. [1 - section
From this description I conclude that
"Annotation" is a special
instance of "node" -- a node with some semantics
and a limited set of
properties: links to a particular set of things.
I'm still totally
unclear why this is a special case in RDF, since
things and links to
things are inherent in the model.
What BIBFRAME seems to be doing is using
Annotation to mean "optional
information." I conclude this from section 2.1
of the BIBFRAME
annotation document [1 - section 2.1]:
What is a BIBFRAME Annotation?
For purposes of this model, a BIBFRAME Work,
Instance, or Authority is
an abstract resource. Different institutions may
have different views
of any given BIBFRAME Work, Instance, or
Authority. For example, for a
given BIBFRAME Work, InstitutionA and
InstitutionB may each have a view
of the Work, bf:Work A and bf:Work B.
Certain information is integral to a Work -
title and author, for
example - and might be reasonably expected to be
reflected in both
views. Other information might be part of one
view but not the other -
information asserted (possibly by a third party)
about the Work, which
Institution A chooses to integrate into its view
but Institution B
chooses not to (or vice versa).
A BIBFRAME Annotation is an assertion, by any
party, about a BIBFRAME
resource (Work, Instance, or Authority) that any
institution holding a
view of that resource may choose to integrate
into its view, or choose
There seem to be two things going on here. One
is that different users
of BIBFRAME will make different choices about
what is "integral" to
Work, Instance and Authority.
The other thing is that there are *optional*
bits of information that
can be encoded as Annotations, and these can be
ignored by anyone not
interested in making use of them. Unfortunately,
defining some elements
as "unessential" means that others must be
defined as "essential."
This means that one person's "integral bit" with
be another person's
Annotation. Thus having annotations doesn't mean
simply that you can
ignore all Annotations, nor does it mean that
you do not need to make
choices among the "integral bits" that come from
other sources. In this
sense, Annotation doesn't appear to me to solve
the problem of
differences in cataloging.
I *could* understand (although not necessarily
favor) a regime in which
there is a defined core (oh, yes, that word
again) and everything else
is an annotation. That is, everything else is
optional. But the
definition of Annotation here does not seem to
make this separation.
Another possibility for Annotation would be to
define it as being
"third-party information" -- anything not
provided by the cataloger and
not provided for in the cataloging rules. I'm
not saying this would be
a good idea, but it would be a clear separation
between Annotation and
If there isn't some clear separation, then I
don't see a great
advantage over letting metadata users select
elements based on data
elements and provenance.
What have I missed?
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