IDF Open Meeting: First Half

Normal Paskin: background

DOI is being standardised through ISO: early 2009 formal standard.

Unique persistent identification; required interoperable structural descriptions. DOI does not have apps, but basis for apps. Builds on existing schemes, standards, data types.

Rights metadata as example of structured description. Distributed metadata, distributed rights management. Each object involved --- agreements, permissions, requirements --- is itself a digital object to be identified, linked, and disaggregated. DOI does interoperability of those digital objects.

DOI services: metadata@10.1000/123456, rights, abstract, sample, buy, license, pdf, etc. DOI data vocab needs to be carefully set up to support that. (The Old "one identifier, multiple standards" issue that we've come up against in our own identifier work.)

Gordon Dunsire, U. Strathclyde: Resource description & access for the digital world

  • RDA: New content standard for bibliographic metadata, to be published early 2009
  • Wider range of info carriers, digital & physical
  • Authors themselves are writing metadata, not just professional cataloguers
  • New metadata formats in use
  • Opportunities to harness new digital environment
  • Internationalised and globalised info services

RDA: attributes; guidance on creating content; more controlled vocabs. Esp. carrier type (e.g. "online resource"), and content type.

The wider context of resource description. e.g. International Standard for Bibliographic Description (ISBD). Statement of International Cataloguing Principles. Almost harmonise with RDA. There are wider range of related standards, increasingly interlinked.

  • FRBR (Biblio Records), FRAD (Authority Data).
    • FRBR has been extended to Object Oriented (FRBRoo), based on CIDOC conceptual reference model
    • Project underway to open up FRBR to other developers, esp. through RDF, SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organisation System: formalises vocabs and their interdependencies)

  • RDA/ONIX ontology to improve metadata interop with publishers <=> libraries
    • can build up vocabs, high level content and carrier types

  • Dublin Core: DCMI/RDA Task Group
    • Task group: broader use of RDA by Dublin Core & others (SKOS, LOM).
    • Define RDA modelling entities as an RDF vocab, to be consumed by these schemas
    • Identify RDA vocabs for publication as RDF schemas, for consumption by SKOS
    • Dublin Core specific application profiles for RDA, based on FRBR/FRAD

  • Do also need to tie RDA in with MARC, since it's not going away

Pairwise interop of these standards is starting. RDA can serve as middle of chain(s)/networks of standards interdependencies.

Common semantic foundations: Semantic Web; RDF; SKOS (based on RDF); OWL (slight overlap with SKOS, bridges between vocabs)

DOI has same underlying apporaoch to ontology as RDA/ONIX. IDF has requested funding from JISC to extend the framework: comprehensive vocab of resource relators and categories, for mapping/crosswalks, and reference set (chain above)


So what have we learned?

  • RDA is setting itself up as semantic middleware for a range of biblio-related metadata standards.
  • Standards are relying on and exploiting other standards already, pairwise
  • The whole world will bow down before the Semantic Web: it will outdate current catalogue entries

Brian Green, EDItEUR: Standards for rights expression within the ONIX family

ONIX: family of formats for metadata about publications, with common data elements, developed & maintained by EDItEUR.

ONIX for Licensing Terms. Subprojects: Publications Licenses (ONIX-PL); Reproduction Rights Organisations; contributing to ACAP.

  • Need to automate electronic resource management
  • variations in license terms: automatic policing on the coalface of license, which has typically been filed away in paper and is inaccessible

Libraries want: machine readable rights; dissemination of rights info in resource metadata; exposure of rights to users.

ONIX-PL seeks to address this. Expresses complete publisher/library license, for import into libraries' Electronic Resource Mgt system.

Not a technical protection measure, does not include enforcement technologies (like ODRL), but allows flexibility, compliance-based. Communicates usage terms, allows library override e.g. fair use.

Will provide ONIX-PL editing tools (JISC funded): form-filling. Open source, available now. JISC Collections are using the prototype. Bits of the license will be exposed to different parties at a time.

ACAP uses ONIX Licensing Terms semantics.

Both ONIX and IDF use indecs view of metadata. Ongoing sharing of dictionary work beyond indecs. IDF is active member of ACAP.


  • Communicating licenses means the license should remain human-readable
  • The license is in chunks so that relevant bits can be excerpted and shown to humans
  • The license remains machine-readable enough in bits that machines can act on it
  • Common meta-metalanguage (indecs) necessary to preserve semantic interop

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