I've been thinking more about this, based on some writing I'm doing, and I now think that Graham is correct - that the publisher work is closely aligned to the work in BIBFRAME (but neither has a work that meets the definition of a FRBR work). The BIBFRAME work, however, has some elements from library cataloging that one might consider FRBR work but not FRBR expression, such as a work title that encompasses all of the expressions.

I apologize to Graham for misunderstanding his intent here. I think this is important because it should make it easier to exchange data with publishers for those who use BIBFRAME. However, in libraries we need to find a way to link BF works to each other to approximate a FRBR work. I think that is going to be most important to research libraries and very large public libraries, while medium and small public libraries will have less use for that. I'm still pondering the question of whether the expression level could be the starting user view; author & title being the main initial display in many catalogs.


On 1/25/17 1:35 AM, Graham Bell wrote:
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This is interesting, in that it aligns BIBFRAME more closely with the <indecs> conceptual model often used in the commercial world.

In contrast to FRBR, <indecs> tends to model publications with three entities, abstraction, manifestation and item, rather than the well-known four part FRBR WEMI stack. In particular, see section 8. Creations in the <indecs> Principles, model and data dictionary paper.  In essence, an indecs:abstraction is often called an indecs:work, and is very close to a frbr:expression, and a frbr:work is best understood in an <indecs> context as a network or directed graph of inter-related indecs:works. The relationships between indecs:works are events like translation, compilation, abridgement and so on. There are other events, like typesetting a book, recording an audiobook or a song, that relate works to their manifestations.

[NB there is often a terminological confusion here, because in <indecs>, these events are called expressions.]

So we have:


 expression    ≈       work        (ISTC)
     |                   |
manifestation  =   manifestation   (ISBN)
     |                   |
   item        =       item

       FRBR              <indecs>


In <indecs>, works are often related to other works, and the relationships indicate a change in the underlying content. Somebody applies some intellectual effort to derive one work from another (e.g. translating it to create a second work, revising it to create a second edition, abridging it, adding illustrations to create an illustrated edition, adapting it to create a play, compiling separate poems or short stories into an anthology etc). The IP encompassed in the work is modified because someone does some work on it. And because the relationships are a directed graph, you can tell the difference between a translation of an abridgement and an abridgement of a translation. Of course, somewhere in the graph of works is ‘the original’ which is not derived from any other work, a kind of 'ur-work' on which the others are all directly or indirectly based – Män som hattar kvinnor in a graph that also contains The girl with the dragon tattoo, Les Hommes qui n'aimaient pas les femmes and Verblendung – but they are a group of related peers, rather than the ur-work having any special position in the graph.

In practical terms, <indecs> is used as the underlying basis for metadata standards like ONIX (books, e-books), EIDR (films and TV), DDEX (recorded music), and for the DOI framework and the ISTC identifier.


Graham Bell
Executive Director, EDItEUR

Tel: +44 20 7503 6418

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On 24 Jan 2017, at 15:22, Denenberg, Ray <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

The question, I think, comes down to this:  If there is a Work, in a given language – English for example -   and that work gets translated into a different language – French, for example;  are the English and French versions a single Work or separate Works.  (Is this a reasonable reformulation of the question?) 


They are two different Works. They can be related to each another via property bf:hasTranslation, and its inverse, bf:translationOf.   So for example English is the original language of Guns of August and there is a French translation:



                             a                             bf:Work ;

                            hasTranslation        <http://bibframe.example.org/work/gunsOfAugustFrench> .





        a                             bf:Work ;

      isTranslationOf        <http://bibframe.example.org/work/gunsOfAugustEnglish> .


I was hoping to come up with a real-life BIBFRAME example from our conversion, but unfortunately this idea doesn’t work well based on marc records, because although the marc record may tell you that there is a French translation, it doesn’t tell you where it is, and some sort of matching algorithm has to come into play.   We haven’t quite gotten that far yet, which is why I cannot produce a real example yet. 


However, as a placeholder, say you have the English (original) and you simply want to express that there is a French translation (but you don’t yet know where):



                             a                             bf:Work ;

                            hasTranslation        [rdfs:label “French translation”  ] .


Please note that I have only considered the simple case where there is an original, and a translation of the original.   There are possible complicating factors:  There may not be one single “original” language; or there may be, but a particular translation isn’t translated directly from the original but rather from an intermediate translation.   I don’t have answers to these situations.






From: Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, January 16, 2017 8:26 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [BIBFRAME] Work record(s) that have Instances with more than one language


Which of the following is valid (either, both…)?

·         If a Work has 2 Instances with different languages then there can be one Work record with 2 Instances and both languages should be in the Work record

·         If there are 2 Instances with different languages then there must be 2 Work records each with one Instance.


Shlomo Sanders


Tel: +972-2-6499356

Mobile: +972-54-5246298

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Karen Coyle
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