[openbiblio-dev] BibJSON and multiple languages

Jim Pitman pitman at stat.Berkeley.EDU
Wed Mar 7 15:44:16 UTC 2012

Mark MacGillivray <mark at odaesa.com> wrote:

> Hi Roderic, thanks for contacting us, this is really interesting

Yes. This is an important issue not yet addressed in BibJSON.

> > I often come across articles in multiple
> > languages (e.g., the article, abstract, and body of the text is in
> > Portuguese, but an English title and abstract are also provided). 

Yes. Important use case we should accommodate. 
The most common use case is a translated title, then a translated abstract.
I can provide plenty of data like this in mathematics.
I think the right solution is to allow any of the usual data elements e.g. title,  abstract, ...
to become an object, and to enhance those objects in a way that indicates what is the original title,
what is its language, what are alternate titles, what languages, who translated them, ....
Hopefully there is some available standard we could adopt for this purpose.

Main point is, whatever we do, we should be doing the same thing in each field: title,  abstract, journal, ...
and that should include author objects as well, especially e.g. for transformation of chinese and cyrillic characters.

> OR perhaps a better, more extensible approach, but more complex, would
> be to use the JSON-LD method of specifying languages:
> http://json-ld.org/spec/latest/json-ld-syntax/#default-language

Great if JSON-LD can take care of this.

> We are currently leaning towards adopting JSON-LD methods for doing
> namespaces, so any JSON-LD methods for languages could also be acceptable.

Sounds right.

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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