No, it is the vocabulary. As we've run into in the BibEx group (a group for bibliographic data that Jeff and I are on)[1], the 
vocabulary has some serious problems. In fact, I happen to think that a 
single vocabulary for "everything" is nonsense. I prefer, as others have 
suggested here, re-usable vocabularies -- especially if those are 
carefully designed. Presumably we need only a small number of 
vocabularies for information about people. Ditto for places. I see 
vocabs like dc, foaf and geonames to be "anchor vocabularies" -- strong 
but simple vocabularies around which extensions can be developed.

It makes sense to me for libraries to be collaborators in the 
development of a finite number of anchor vocabularies that will help 
them interact with other communities. It's what the Semantic Web is all 
about - find those hooks that link your data and someone else's data.

That said, I don't think that everything in library data is going to be 
a link to something else. It may not make sense to try to convert things 
like 245 $c (rest of title) into linked data. I'm beginning to think 
that it would not be amiss to consider descriptive cataloging as mainly 
a document, with some internal coding, and include linkable data 
("access points" in RDA terms) that completes the bibliographic metadata.

What I don't think we've considered yet is: who and what do we want to 
link to? and why? The W3C LLD group did come up with some use cases for 
library linked data, but I think we need more.


On 5/23/13 11:11 AM, Young,Jeff (OR) wrote:
> Is it the vocabulary that is inconsistent or reality itself? The world is a messy place that evolves over time, as will our vocabulary. is designed for common sense. A person is a person, a book is a book, an event is an event, etc. It's true that common sense breaks down beyond a certain level, but it's absurd to think we can skip over common sense as a 1st step.
> Jeff
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Karen Coyle [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>> Sent: Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:34 PM
>> To: Young,Jeff (OR)
>> Cc: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] re-using existing properties (was
>> and the
>> "lightweight abstraction layer")
>> Jeff, unfortunately is one of the worst ontologies I've ever
>> seen for inconsistency, a single, narrow views. I hope it does NOT
>> become the main ontology, at least not without some huge revision.
>> kc
>> (note: the blog post proposes as our future "OoE" - Ontology
>> of Everything.)
>> On 5/23/13 9:49 AM, Young,Jeff (OR) wrote:
>>> Regarding FOAF and "Testing status", I thought this blog from awhile
>> back rang true:
>>> Jeff
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum
>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Karen Coyle
>>>> Sent: Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:41 PM
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] re-using existing properties (was
>>>> and the
>>>> "lightweight abstraction layer")
>>>> Nate, what this says to me is that we need to work more
>>>> collaboratively with others. This is what I hoped would come out of
>>>> the NISO Bib Framework meeting (but unfortunately did not). I've
>> been
>>>> very frustrated with foaf - so much potential, and yet so
>>>> un-realized. And it isn't being very actively developed anymore. So
>>>> we can either roll our own, OR try to find a way to collaborate on
>>>> standards for the Web, not standards for the library community only.
>>>> If we were, for example, a community of flat worm neuron
>> researchers,
>>>> it might make sense to develop our own ontology with little direct
>>>> interaction with that of others. But the data that libraries will
>>>> create is by definition not exclusive to the library use case -- our
>>>> metadata describes people, intellectual resources, places, events,
>>>> time periods.
>>>> These are about as close to universal concepts as you'll get.
>> There's
>>>> probably nothing in our data that shouldn't be linking to someone
>>>> else's information somewhere.
>>>> It makes me cringe a bit when I hear it, but it has been suggested
>>>> that libraries are the logical organizations to take on the
>> archiving
>>>> and perhaps even maintenance of key ontologies. I know we don't have
>>>> the funding for that and I am reminded of the poster that read:
>> "What
>>>> if schools were fully funded and the military had to hold a bake
>> sale
>>>> to buy an airplane?"
>>>> So I agree, Nate, with your assessment -- that we can't risk using
>>>> ontologies that can change arbitrarily. But we could potentially
>>>> become partners in those ontologies, just as libraries from
>> different
>>>> countries have become partners in MARC21 and BIBFRAME. Dividing the
>>>> world at libraries/not-libraries is the problem. Well, the crux of
>>>> the problem is that we'd have to hold a bake sale to get the $$ and
>>>> staffing to be participants, and even that wouldn't cover it.
>>>> *aaaarrrrggghhh!*
>>>> kc
>>>> On 5/23/13 8:39 AM, Trail, Nate wrote:
>>>>> If you adopt someone else's terms, you are stuck with their
>>>> definitions, and if they decide to change them, you have to revisit
>>>> your decision: a constant maintenance headache.
>>>>> The foaf vocab is in Testing status, version 0.98. Are they going
>> to
>>>> change it before it comes out? Who knows?  Will they add something
>>>> better like foaf:sortName that is more like a traditional library
>>>> listing?
>>>>> Just coming up with a list of all the possible terms out there and
>>>> fighting over whether they are close enough to use for each term we
>>>> have will be a major use of time.
>>>>> On DC, people you might not be for it, but if we opened the BF
>> vocab
>>>> up, there might be a lot of clamor for it; it's so simple and it's
>>>> all over the place!
>>>>> Nate
>>>>> PS I had a good laugh about the Unicode and ISO 639 "roll our own
>>>> comment". I'm working right now on developing a computer that uses
>> 2s
>>>> and 3s instead of 1s and 0s.
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: stuart yeates [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 5:31 PM
>>>>> To: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum
>>>>> Cc: Trail, Nate
>>>>> Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] re-using existing properties (was
>>>>> and the
>>>>> "lightweight abstraction layer")
>>>>> On 23/05/13 05:25, Trail, Nate wrote:
>>>>>> I think when you start reusing existing properties, you're relying
>>>> on
>>>>>> them being around for the long haul, and requiring systems that
>>>>>> consume them to be aware of all the multiple namespaces.
>>>>> The "syntactic sugar" option used by
>>>> madsrdf:hasCloseExternalAuthority does not introduce a new namespace
>>>> from the users' point of view. The syntactic sugar can even be kept
>>>> in a separate RDF file from the definition of the bibframe
>>>> properties, making it second class and invisible to everyone who
>> doesn't want it.
>>>>>     > In all cases, I can't
>>>>>     > see us (the library community) agreeing that the way foaf or
>> dc
>>>> (or  > whatever) uses a term really matches what we're talking
>> about.
>>>>> Following that arguement we should also walk away from ISO 639, ISO
>>>> 3166, RFC 3986, Unicode and so forth. None of them are perfect from
>> a
>>>> library point of view but all of the are better than rolling our
>> own.
>>>>> [For the record I'm not suggestion using dc / Dublincore.]
>>>>> cheers
>>>>> stuart
>>>>> --
>>>>> Stuart Yeates
>>>>> Library Technology Services
>>>> --
>>>> Karen Coyle
>>>> [log in to unmask]
>>>> ph: 1-510-540-7596
>>>> m: 1-510-435-8234
>>>> skype: kcoylenet
>> --
>> Karen Coyle
>> [log in to unmask]
>> ph: 1-510-540-7596
>> m: 1-510-435-8234
>> skype: kcoylenet

Karen Coyle
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