[open-bibliography] Openbiblio Principles was: Virtual meeting today

Adrian Pohl adrian.pohl at okfn.org
Sun Dec 19 19:14:38 UTC 2010

Hello Karen,

thanks for your valuable input. I'm commenting inline. Here is a link
to the discussed document: http://bit.ly/gIfB11

2010/12/7 Karen Coyle <kcoyle at kcoyle.net>:

> First, there are wording changes that I would normally like to make.
> However, because there is the UK/US language difference, if a native UK
> speaker has already gone over this, then we should discuss before I suggest
> those changes.

Definitely someone should align the wording as soon as we have agreed
on the content.

> Other comments:
> 1. Do not use "free", which is ambiguous. Use "without cost" or "without
> restriction" as appropriate.

There is only one instance of "free", in the "preamble" bit.
Personally, I don't mind using "free" there. "Without restriction"
would be wrong (because we say attribution and share-alike are ok too)
but please change it if you've got a good better wording.

> 2. Do not use "record" -- the citations created by authors are not records.
> Can we find another term, such as "bibliographic description",
> "bibliographic data"?

I changed it to "bibliographic description".

> 3. "addressing" does not work for me... I want to use something based on the
> term "location"

We have to make clear what we are talking about. I don't exactly know
what Peter actually had in mind when he proposed this definition of a
bibliographic record/description. I always thought he meant locating a
resource in the context of a journal, an edited volume etc. On the
other side locating may mean locating in a collection, indicating a
place on the shelf. Maybe you think - as well as I do - about holdings
information and call number that adress a specific book. We certainly
should make this clear in the text.

> 4. I don't think the list of data elements in the first second is helpful,
> and I don't think it necessarily serves both functions (identification and
> location). Perhaps for actual identification of a publication we can refer
> to library catalog entries and citation rules like MLA without needing a
> list of data elements. For the location function (assuming this means
> actually getting your hands or eyes on the item) you need a library catalog
> entry or a URL (for online documents).

Refering to catalog entries and citation rules sounds good. It also
would shorten the text quite a bit. Would you change that bit?
Regarding the location function we must first make clear what we mean
by that (see above). I think Peter had something other in mind when he
proposed this.

> 5. I'm not sure why the heading in this first section is "Bibliographic data
> already in the public domain", unless the intention is "Why we maintain that
> bibliographic data is not covered by copyright." The wording does not say
> that to me.

The wording isn't clear but I couldn't think of anything better. It
should indicate that the  section covers those parts of bibliographic
descriptions which are not copyrightable and thus from the point of
their creation in the public domain. Any ideas for a better wording?
Then please change it.

> 6. the section on URIs seems to be aimed at online resources, not
> bibliographic data in the web environment. We have bib data in the web
> environment that does not have URIs or URLs.

...on the other side we can identify print resources with URIs. I
think the text in this part is ok because of being vague enough ("can
be achieved" and now "is possible").

> 7. I would not assert that user-generated tags are public domain. We can't
> make that decision for all users who contribute tags. I agree that it is a
> good idea to get users to agree that use of their tags is unrestricted, but
> the circumstances in which users tag things varies greatly, so this broad
> statement is problematic.

In the first draft tags and subject headings were in the group of
legally uncertain data as you suggest. I don't know why the act of
tagging and indexing should be creative enough to gain copyright over
taggings... But to be safe we might (again) put it into the next

> 7a. Rather than asserting that things are public domain, I would rather
> assert that these things are not covered by intellectual property rights.
> It's a language quibble, but I feel that "public domain" is a legal term and
> not a description. That may just be me.

Hmm, I don't see this problem. We could contribute to making "public
domain" a common term. I think it is already used quite often.

> 8. Subject headings and classification notations may be considered creative
> work on the part of the cataloger. I would put them in the second category
> of data elements to which rights may apply.

See above.

> 9. "Sponsorship" -- is this sponsorship of the content or the publication? I
> assume that it refers to the sponsorship of research that is often cited.

You are right.

> 10. This is more of a general concept, but in my  own mind I am unclear on
> the rights status of name authority data. Selecting one fact to represent a
> display of many similar facts does not seem to meet the creativity
> requirement (that US law requires). But I agree that it belongs in this
> "grey area" category in the document.

I agree that name authority data might as well be public domain.

> 11. #3 of the recommendations should refer to ANY restrictions on the data,
> including attribution. Once we start mashing up data, anything but pure open
> use becomes impossible. So perhaps this point should be about ANY
> restrictions, of which non-commercial is one, attribution is another, and
> even share-alike is another. (Note, if W3C provenance work becomes a
> reality, we could say that people should pass on provenance data that is
> received. This wouldn't so much be for the rights issue, in my mind, but so
> that people can make selections based on whose data they trust most. One
> issue with provenance is that is could give people a way to attempt to
> control their data, and we will probably need to address that if it becomes
> a reality.)

I don't agree with this. The recommendations built on each other and
it's #4 which says what you propose for #3. So you basically are
proposing deleting #3 and - if we do so - we could also delete #1 and
#2 because anybody who complies to #4 also complies to the three
principles before that.

> I hope this all doesn't sound harsh -- I didn't take the time to soften my
> language :-) in my haste to get this down. I can make the purely editorial
> corrections on the Google doc if you would like. The other bits we may need
> to discuss. Another option would be that I make changes -- perhaps in
> another copy of the document? (I can't remember off-hand if Google docs has
> a "revert" function) And then we can discuss that version.

Everybody's free to add comments to the document and change the
content. Actually, google docs does versionizing.

All the best

> Quoting Adrian Pohl <adrian.pohl at okfn.org>:
>> Hello,
>> it's the month's first tuesday and so today the Openbiblio virtual
>> meeting is scheduled at 16:00 GMT. Unfortunately I can't attend due to
>> private obligations. Anyway, I created an Etherpad for the meeting:
>> http://okfnpad.org/6th-open-bibliography-meeting
>> I proposed one agenda point on the etherpad: Commenting and correcting
>> the principles on open bibliographic data draft.
>> Peter, Mark and I did some more work on the principles and would
>> bevery happy to get some comments by other people.
>> Please add further agenda points as needed.
>> Hope you'll have a fruitful meeting.
>> Cheers
>> Adrian
>> _______________________________________________
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>> open-bibliography at lists.okfn.org
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> --
> Karen Coyle
> kcoyle at kcoyle.net http://kcoyle.net
> ph: 1-510-540-7596
> m: 1-510-435-8234
> skype: kcoylenet
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