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

Primavera De Filippi primavera.defilippi at okfn.org
Tue Nov 8 16:57:09 UTC 2011

comments inline....

On Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 4:14 PM, Tom Morris <tfmorris at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 6:42 AM, Jonathan Gray <jonathan.gray at okfn.org>
>  wrote:
>> Due to the breadth of this (not just books, but films, artworks, etc)
>> - what about renaming this to the Open Metadata Handbook? I think this
>> is what we originally discussed. What do you think?
> I think it would be useful to put some reasonable bounds on the scope.
>  Doing a wonderful job on books seems like a fine first step to me, but if
> you really want to expand it to all creative works (a HUGE and varied
> domain), why not name it Creative Works Metadata Handbook or something
> similar.  "Open Metadata" is basically unbounded in scope.  I hope that's
> not intentional.

I believe the original idea of the Handbook was to cover more than just
literary works, but expand also to photographs, images, videos, and sounds.
I realize this is much more complex than just sticking to books and
articles, but I think this is more valuable too, since most of the work
that has already been done does focus in fact only on bibliographic data.
Maybe if we can get the attention of different communities to contribute to
the guide, we could obtain a decent overview of the various formats and
standards to use for each category of works ?
Do you have any idea who we could contact for those other categories of


> Two other comments:
> - I don't see any distinctions made between descriptions of a work (i.e. a
> catalog entry) and a reference to a work (e.g. citation, bibliography
> entry, reading list item, etc).  Although they're arguably both just
> references with different amounts of detail, to my mind they are different
> things with different properties (in the degenerative case, in the linked
> data world, the latter is just a link/pointer to the former).

I think the former would be described in the metadata concerning the actual
bibliographic work being described (e.g. a book, an article, etc) whereas
the latter (citation, bibliographic entry, etc) would be defined within
that same metadata file under the [links] section, qualified by a
relationship to the main entity it refers to?  - or do you mean something
different ?

> - From a practical point of view, the mandatory vs optional designation
> seems moot.  People have the metadata that they have.  You may be able to
> get them to format it a certain way.  You may be able to recommend that
> they make a best effort at reconciling their data and providing strong
> identifiers.  It,however, seems pretty unlikely that they'll go off
> populate some new field in their database just because it was marked
> "mandatory."

I agree with that, I think the idea was to provide best-practices to the
data providers, and then let them decide how to implement the second-best
practices according to what they are actually willing to provide. I think
keeping the distinction between mandatory and optional is nonetheless
useful to indicate the importance of those fields, even though we cannot
ensure that those best-practices will be respected..

> From an administrative point of view, is there someplace which describes
> the protocol for commenting, editing, etc? The Discussion pages seem
> unused.  In-line commenting without Etherpad style highlighting is going to
> get pretty hard to follow unless something like the Wikipedia indenting
> commenting style is used.

Sorry, I just moved the guide into the wikibook platform so there is hardly
no discussion yet. I tried to integrate most of the discussion that had
been done on the Etherpad directly into the wiki, but probably the best now
is to just edit the wiki directly, or use the wikipedia in-line commenting
style for discussion if you want to raise an issue or a discussion on a
particular matter.

> Tom
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