Some points from the discussion so far .


The issue of the "failure of libraries to adopt RDA over AACR2" is not a
valid comparison with "failure" in the context of BIBFRAME or this
discussion. Libraries are free to use whatever standards they think are
suitable. Some libraries have not adopted RDA; other libraries have. The
trend over the last couple of years has been increasing adoption of RDA by
national libraries or collaborative cataloguing organizations across the
world. In the context of BIBFRAME the issue is "what libraries have, or are
likely to, adopt BIBFRAME over MARC 21?".


"There is no UNIMARC followup to my knowledge": UNIMARC is in continuous
development [1], and is being represented in RDF.


"I do not understand why RDA cataloging examples and implementations have
not picked up Bibframe as a prerequisite. They seem like not being made for
each other, which is confusing and kind of bizarre.": I think the second
point is answered earlier in the paragraph: "It is so simple that it even
does not follow FRBR ..."


There are other reasons why RDA does not regard BIBFRAME as a prequisite:


It is not stable.

Its functional requirements are unclear.

RDA provides examples in RDF using its own namespaces to provide an accurate
and consistent reflection of the application of RDA instructions in a linked
data environment. [3]

The RDA Steering Committee and RDA Development Team anticipate generic
linked data systems in the future, that consume data in multiple ontologies
and vocabularies.


I hope this helps!










From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of James L. Weinheimer
Sent: 02 February 2017 10:38
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BIBFRAME] Failure


On 01/02/2017 22:25, Jeff Edmunds wrote (concerning the definition of

 Widely adopted = adopted by a majority of libraries (of which, in the US, 
according to ALA, there are approximately 119,000, the vast majority of 
which use MARC now)

Just as important as a definition of failure is a definition of success.
Success here seems to be equated with getting a majority of *libraries* to
use Bibframe. If we are considering Bibframe as a path to some future linked
data universe, then this is certainly different from the original dream of
linked data. Simply put, the original dream of linked data is to put your
data on the web in a coherent way for *others,* i.e. those who do not know
or understand your data, to use it for their purposes. The idea of linked
data is not that you can do something new with your own data--after all, you
already understand how your own data is structured and you have complete
control over it to do whatever you want. It's for others outside of your own
community to use your data as they want.

Tim Berners-Lee has given lots of examples, e.g. a quote: "A classic story,
the first one which lots of people picked up, was when in March - on March
10th in fact, soon after TED - Paul Clarke, in the U.K. government, blogged,
"Oh, I've just got some raw data. Here it is, it's about bicycle accidents."
Two days it took the Times Online to make a map, a mashable map - we call
these things mash-ups - a mashed-up user interface that allows you to go in
there and have a look and find out whether your bicycle route to work was
affected."  (From:
If you haven't already seen this talk, I suggest it)

If Bibframe is supposed to be aimed only toward libraries, then that means
it is aimed at members of the same community who already understand how the
data is structured. With such a group, very similar results could be
achieved with OAI-PMH, APIs, or even crosswalks, depending on what someone
wants to do. That would be much simpler, cheaper, and faster. Still, that
means building new services and of course, that requires lots of time, is
expensive and involves risk. We should never forget that the garbage dump of
the web is littered with services that people have rejected. (Remember
MySpace? I found out it still exists!) There is absolutely no guarantee that
if libraries make new services, that anyone will like them one bit more than
our current catalogs.

If the purpose of Bibframe is to "open the silos" and put our metadata where
the users are, that would mean (to me at least) that libraries want their
data included in the search results of Google, Bing, Yandex, perhaps even
Baidu, and other search engines that are used by the overwhelming majority
of the public. In that sense, the risk mentioned above about creating new
services is avoided. But to get your data into the search engines you must
use Not Bibframe. Enough said. If you want your data on
Facebook, it's got to be Open Graph. 

Of course, even when you get your data in the popular search engines your
problems are only beginning: it's true that your linked data and your
structures tend to disintegrate, but most important: since there will be no
links *to* your data, it will remain trapped at the very bottom of the
search engine results, much like sludge at the bottom of an oil tank.
Raising those results has proven to be incredibly difficult and expensive,
and even then it doesn't always work. It is possible that in the future,
those search engines may change their policies and allow Bibframe, but the
chances for that seem to be very, very low.

If we expect webmasters to use our library data to create new tools such as
those described by TBL, there is no guarantee that anyone will want Bibframe
data, especially if it is very complicated for them to do so. Webmasters
would prefer to take their bibliographic data from easier sources, e.g.
Amazon or Google, as they already do and where they don't have to pay for it
(open). Promoting our bibliographic information as being "superior" would be
largely meaningless to most of them, I suppose, especially if our data is
not open (if they would have to pay for it).

Yet, I believe the public (and by extension, webmasters) would absolutely
*love* some of the data of libraries, primarily circulation data, so that
people could discover, e.g. what are the most popular books checked out by
Ivy-League undergraduates, or undergraduates in London. They would love to
know what is checked out by graduate students in business schools, or by
senior faculty in political science, and so on. I would like that myself!
Instructors designing course syllabi would love to know what are the
assigned readings for similar courses taught elsewhere (i.e. what is
currently on Reserve). But letting out circulation information has serious
ethical consequences for librarians, and most of it is not part of Bibframe

In this scenario, which I consider describes the real world, I don't know
how to measure success and failure. The Bibframe initiative should be
looking forward toward how to deal with such highly obvious issues. It is
not a matter of simply believing in: "Build it and they will come!" That is
a sure-fire recipe for disaster. 

I think it would be safe to assume that if nothing real is produced for the
public in the next 5-10 years, it will be seen as a failure? Of course, the
public would still have to be convinced that what we make is wonderful and
administrators would need to be convinced it has an adequate ROI ...

James Weinheimer [log in to unmask]
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> 
First Thus
First Thus Facebook Page
Personal Facebook Page
Cooperative Cataloging Rules
Cataloging Matters Podcasts
The Library Herald