[openbiblio-dev] Bibliographic Metadata Guide is now on Wiki !

Jim Pitman pitman at stat.Berkeley.EDU
Mon Nov 7 19:19:34 UTC 2011

John Mark Ockerbloom <ockerblo at pobox.upenn.edu> wrote:

> I've added some comments to the "minimum" data elements for books
> on the Etherpad.  (In particular, you can get by, and sometimes lack
> data, for some of the items now marked "mandatory"; and some elements
> show a little more variety than you might expect at first.)  Please
> feel free to edit or respond to
>     http://openbiblio.okfnpad.org/metadata-elements?
> appropriately.

I added a few points too. I'm not clear on the relation of this etherpad to
Primavera's very professional looking  Wiki setup.
The structure of this page parallels closely the structure of e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BibTeX
especially with respect to the required/optional nature of the elements associated with various
types of document.

These elements should be defined independent of type, to the greatest extent possible, though often
meanings are understood by type, e.g. the ISBN field of a book chapter is an identifier of the book not the chapter.

It is a question where exactly do the declarations:

O - optional
MA - mandatory if applicable, but may be legitimately missing
M - Mandatory
R - repeatable
NR - not repeatable 

live relative to e.g. a JSON or XML schema that defines what machines can make of such data.
The R/NR classification is structural, and likely part of the schema.  A metadata doc which did not meet the
R/NR requirements would be invalid.  The O/MA/M status is not structural, but part of some best practice. Machines should help us deal 
with bad practice. 
I think main thing is that when data providers offer to publish metdata we give them a way to easily express all that they have,
without undue burden.  I would be inclined to drop the M word, and go with "recommended" or "strongly recommended" for most elements
presently marked as M.


Jim Pitman
Professor of Statistics and Mathematics
University of California
367 Evans Hall # 3860
Berkeley, CA 94720-3860

ph: 510-642-9970  fax: 510-642-7892
e-mail: pitman at stat.berkeley.edu
URL: http://www.stat.berkeley.edu/users/pitman

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