Friday, June 5, 2009

Can Bibliographic Data be Put Directly onto the Semantic Web? by Martha Yee

This paper is a think piece about the possible future of bibliographic control; it provides a brief introduction to the Semantic Web and defines related terms, and it discusses granularity and structure issues and the lack of standards for the efficient display and indexing of bibliographic data. It is also a report on a work in progress—an experiment in building a Resource Description Framework (RDF) model of more FRBRized cataloging rules than those about to be introduced to the library community (Resource Description and Access) and in creating an RDF data model for the rules. I am now in the process of trying to model my cataloging rules in the form of an RDF model, which can also be inspected at In the process of doing this, I have discovered a number of areas in which I am not sure that RDF is sophisticated enough yet to deal with our data. This article is an attempt to identify some of those areas and explore whether or not the problems I have encountered are soluble—in other words, whether or not our data might be able to live on the Semantic Web. In this paper, I am focusing on raising the questions about the suitability of RDF to our data that have come up in the course of my work.

[Note: (8/20/2009) Commentary by Karen Coyle on this article, and additional discussion, may be found at]

1 comment:

Patrick Danowski said...

Sorry as non-member i can't read the article, so i have just some thoughts about the abstract.
RDF is able to reflect a format (the MARCOnt is just a try or the Bibliographic Ontology) The main goal of cataloging rules is what is written in the fields and how is it written. This things can't reflect in a format. There can be only some support for that when it is possible to link authority file.s I don't think we need an other RDF Format for bibliographic data it would be more efficient to work on the bibliographic ontology especially because they are reusing a lot of semantic web standards (like FOAF). We as librarians should more active look what"s happen in the web than reinventing the wheel again just for libraries. So everything we invent now should be compatible with the linked data approach. I don't know if the discuss the examples of the Swedish National Library (PDF Article) which already have put there whole data in the semantic web or the semantic digital library approach . Also I like to point out that more discussion about this topic will be in Florence (Italy) on the IFLA IT Section Pre-conference . Maybe I find a way to get the article to give a little more details comment.