Hi Ryan,

My understanding why the BIBFRAME vocabulary is entirely original and doesn't reuse classes and properties from other well established existing vocabularies/ontologies is because it's being managed and maintained by the Library of Congress (a government agency) -- and they need to have complete and reliable  control of their data. They cannot completely trust existing vocabularies/ontologies no matter how stable they are. 

With the LD4P project we're working to replace or subclass BF classes and properties with classes and properties from existing and stable vocabularies such as DCterms, Schema, CIDOC-CRM, Web Annotations Model, etc. 

Maybe we can convince LC to adopt our strategy, but I understand why even if they don't. 

-Amber Billey

Sent via mobile 

On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 1:19 PM Ryan E. Johnson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Great points, and thanks for the discussion as always, Karen.

For some background, we have been using an RDF-based schema/ontology for

a Hydra-based digital repository for almost 5 years. On the other

thread, there was a lot of guessing about what linked data can do, and I

think I'm in a fortunate position to say what a, RDF-

based library schema can pull off.

Even without properties we achieve good SEO (e.g. someone can

type in a reasonably proximate collection name in Google and we are the

top 3 results). But as you cogently pointed out elsewhere, simple things

like adding maps become incredibly complicated, because all the

wonderful tools built around the major APIs tend to assume JSON data and

an entire stack of technologies different than ours. Geospatial metadata

simply has no RDF options (we are hoping along with DPLA for

developments in geoJSON-ld and other schemes), and we are stuck waiting

for that. The solution in the meantime has been to kludge it so that we

have basic Leaflet integration. So a relevant question is, who will

build this whole new marketplace of RDF-based apps that aren't just

parsing or serialization libraries? If we are only using this data that

has to be kludged just to support existing apps/APIs, there is little

value added.

What our metadata unit has most crucially learned is that making your

own predicates (or properties) is potentially dangerous because now you

have lost the power of the crowd to improve understanding or

implementation of it, or even if the predicate is necessary in the first

place. Someone on another thread said RDF-based data is instantly able

to be integrated with one another. In theory, yes, but in practice, no.

It's true that blind trust of others' schemes is necessary and you could

merge any RDF graph with another, but we still have to evaluate where a

data source fits into ours, what their domain/ranges are for predicates,


When I look at BIBFRAME, I see an entire ontology built anew. Why wasn't

a first principle to borrow or at least map to as many Dublin Core,

PREMIS, etc. predicates as possible? Is that a goal and a known task,

and I shouldn't worry about it? If it doesn't at least map to existing

predicates used in the linked data world, it will become a niche


Our new ontology will have very little BIBFRAME predicates because it

doesn't seem to make any sense with its insistence on the

Work/Instance/Item framework. Digital objects are just that... objects,

and we don't think our objects fit into this paradigm. That said, we do

sometimes have objects that come from our catalog, and if BIBFRAME ever

comes to our library we would of course figure out a mapping to our

ontology, that would be much easier than the current MARC->MODS->our

ontology mapping. But that's rather disappointing in the end.


On Thu, 2 Feb 2017 13:21:56 -0800, Karen Coyle <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Simon, interestingly, this person[1] thinks that BIBFRAME is too much


>a conceptual model.


>One of the problems that I have is that the actual vocabulary doesn't

>always match the stated concepts. I had this experience recently with

>the Zepheira version, [2], that people often call "BF-lite".

>For example, "Agent" class includes the property "audience" from

>Resource, but the definition of "audience" talks about the content of a

>resource. Things like that just jar me and don't seem logical. We went

>through that with the earliest version of bibframe that didn't seem to

>put things at the correct bibliographic level. A lot got fixed, it

>seems. However, it's hard to judge the model when the execution brings

>up questions, and when the model is defined in just a few sentences.

>(Note: has many of the same problems, but there's a large

>community that discusses them so one has hope that they'll eventually


>worked out.)(Also note: FRBR has this same problem with its user tasks,

>that are covered in one paragraph each, and to me are totally vague.)


>Admittedly, FRBRoo is much more rigorous. That said, it needs something

>like the BF-lite presentation to make it understandable. The best thing

>about BF-lite is its web site organization and presentation.


>Also, shouldn't we be creating standards using methods like are used by

>W3C and IETF - with open communities, wikis, mailing list archives,


>documents? That doesn't mean that organizations develop a standard and

>then post it online, it means that the PROCESS needs to be visible so

>that people can participate, or at least understand the end result.


>very hard to understand a standard if you haven't seen what was

>discussed, what was dismissed, what the thinking was. We're way behind

>others in our standards process.








>On 2/2/17 12:24 PM, Simon Spero wrote:

>> On Feb 2, 2017 7:21 AM, "Gordon Dunsire" <[log in to unmask]

>> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:


>>     "I do not understand why RDA cataloging examples and


>>     have not picked up Bibframe as a prerequisite. They seem like not

>>     being made for each other, which is confusing and kind of


>>     I think the second point is answered earlier in the paragraph:


>>     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.


>> Quite.


>> To the extent that BIBFRAME's functional requirements /are/ clear,


>> remarks above are not signs of success. Remember that the goal of the

>> bibframe effort was set by the LC report on the RDA test, and it's

>> purpose was to establish a non MARC based approach for carrying RDA

>> data. The report did not call for establishing a new conceptual


>> and this may have been unwise, and contributed to the instability



>> A different  starting point would have been to start from the basis


>> FRBRoo, which /is/ a rigorously defined FRBR based model, and define


>> simplified or extended ontology in alignment with that. Such an


>> would also consider and make explicit the functions that a less


>> based approach could benefit, and what sort of enabling workflows,

>> infrastructure, and architecture might be needed to support those



>> Simon



>Karen Coyle

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>m: +1-510-435-8234

>skype: kcoylenet/+1-510-984-3600