[openbiblio-dev] BibJSON vs RDF

Edmund Chamberlain emc59 at cam.ac.uk
Wed Feb 8 10:10:36 UTC 2012

Speaking on behalf of a library sponsoring this project, whilst we have 
considerable interest in RDF we are also keen on exploring other 

Aligning systems and cataloguing practices so closely with a single 
format (Marc21) has shackled us to bad practice and outdated technology 
and made it very difficult to share data meaningfully.

With the Library of Congress planning to move on from Marc21,  choosing 
just one syntax and carrier format as we move forward would risk the 
same mistake.

I've done some development work with RDF, its hard to produce and to 
consume as others have noted here. There are also scaling issues. 
BibJson may overcome these and has potential value in so many 
communities that libraries must interact with, (academic research 
groups, citation management and discovery etc).

In the post Marc world, there will most likely be no single replacement 
format. To my mind, thats' a good thing.

And to split hairs, Tim Berners-Lee is selling the concept of linked 
data, rather than RDF specifically ;) A colleague of mine recently 
described RDF as 'the hardest way to do just about anything'. The value 
of it is, it can do 'just about anything'. BibJson retains a lot of that 
flexibility in vocab, with a syntax thats easier for developers.

On 07/02/2012 21:03, Tom Morris wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 1:53 PM, Peter Murray-Rust<pm286 at cam.ac.uk>  wrote:
>> [bibliographic data from the German National Library] is available in RDF as CC0.
>> Mark will have a look at at - maybe it's easy to convert to BibJSON - but
>> anyway we should work with the suppliers to create BibJSON - this is a
>> really clear example of why BJ is useful.
> What is a really clear example?  I missed a step or three in the argument here.
> Is BibJSON being proposed as a replacement for RDF?  An alternative to
> RDF?  What additional value does it provide that justifies this extra
> expense?
> People like Tim Berners-Lee, the W3C, Talis, etc have been pushing RDF
> to libraries for *years* and are just barely beginning to get
> traction, so you need to plan on a similarly long and expensive
> crusade to do the same thing with BibJSON.  It's one thing to use it
> as the native format for the BibServer API.  It's quite another to
> propose it for global adoption in competition with the W3C.
> Tom
> _______________________________________________
> openbiblio-dev mailing list
> openbiblio-dev at lists.okfn.org
> http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/openbiblio-dev

Edmund Chamberlain
Systems Development Librarian
Electronic Services and Systems
Cambridge University Library
West Road,

tel: (+44) 01223 747437
fax: (+44) 01223 333160

email: emc59 at cam.ac.uk

Try LibrarySearch at http://search.lib.cam.ac.uk - a new way to discover
Cambridge Library Collections

More information about the openbiblio-dev mailing list