Data convergence

The agreement between RDA and DCMI folks on some shared directions provides some interesting food for thought. There is not a lot of detail in the announcement but it potentially provides a venue to look at a range of 'levels' (information model, 'element sets', encodings, content guidelines, etc) within a single framework. One of the issues we now have is that this is not the case. So for example, MARC (using this as shorthand for various activities), RDA and FRBR are on different development tracks in different organizational contexts. There may be overlap in personnel, but they are not designed as a whole. Historically, DC has not defined 'content guidelines', and it will be interesting to see what emerges through this relationship.

Andy Powell - the primary architect of the DCMI Abstract Model - has posted an interesting entry on the state of play. An excerpt :

The benefits of this activity will be that:

  • the library community gets a metadata standard that is compatible with the Web Architecture and that is fully interoperable with other Semantic Web initiatives
  • the DCMI community gets a libraries application profile firmly based on the DCAM and FRBR (which will be a high profile exemplar for others to follow)
  • the Semantic Web community get a significant pool of well thought out metadata terms to re-use
  • there is wider uptake of RDA

In addition, the meeting agreed that DCMI and DC Application Profile developers consider the value of using conceptual models such as FRBR as the basis for describing intellectual or artistic creations.

I think the brevity of these conclusion masks the intellectual effort that went into getting us to where we are now, both in terms of the meeting itself and in terms of all the work that has gone before. I'm convinced that this move to bring RDA and DCMI closer together is a big step in the right direction and that we'll see good things coming of this work over the next year or so.

[eFoundations]

Karen Coyle interviews Diane Hillman, another participant, here.

Background documents are on a Wiki set up for the initiative [disclosure: dublincore.org is maintained by OCLC].

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