DCMI/RDA Task Group Repurposing Proposal
The DCMI/RDA Task Group was set up to build on agreements made at a meeting held at the British Library April 30/May 1, 2007; the so-called “London meeting”. Participants in the meeting came from DCMI and other Semantic Web groups, and the RDA development effort.
The charter of the Group is: "To define components of the draft standard "RDA - Resource Description and Access" as an RDF vocabulary for use in developing a Dublin Core application profile."
The workplan developed at that meeting was:
- Define RDA modeling entities as an RDF vocabulary (properties and classes).
- Identify in-line value vocabularies as candidates for publication in RDFS or SKOS.
- Develop a DC Application Profile for RDA based on FRBR and FRAD.
Items 1. and 2. are essentially complete. The Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC) is carrying out a final review of the RDA element sets of properties and classes, and also the value vocabularies, prior to publishing them as stable RDF representations. Several of the value vocabularies have already been published, and it is expected that the remaining elements and vocabularies will be published before the end of 2011. The RDA vocabularies are available on the Open Metadata Registry.
Item 3. has not yet commenced, as it is dependent on completion of items 1. and 2.
The RDA standard itself has been published in the form of the RDA Toolkit.
There have been a number of significant developments related to the work of the Group in the past four years.
- The existence of the Group stimulated the creation of a project within IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, to develop element sets for FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) and its related standards FRAD (Functional Requirements for Authority Data) and FRSAD (Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data): the FRBR Namespace Project (progress reports subsequent to the report of July 2008 are incorporated in minutes of meetings and reports to the IFLA Cataloguing Section). This in turn led to a redefinition of the goals of the ISBD/XML Study Group to develop an RDF/XML representation of the element set and value vocabularies of the consolidated edition of ISBD (International Standard Bibliographic Description). The FRBR and ISBD RDF representations were published in early-mid 2011, and the FRAD and FRSAD representations were published in September 2011.
- The ISBD work has included the development of a DC Application Profile for ISBD. This has exposed a number of areas where the DCAM (DCMI Abstract Model) and Application Profile framework remain underdeveloped. The DCMI Architecture Forum is using the draft ISBD AP to inform their work, and there was a useful discussion at an unconvention meeting during DC-2011.
- The ISBD Review Group, responsible for maintenance of the standard, and JSC have agreed to seek improvements in the alignment of ISBD and RDA, which is based on FRBR and FRAD, and to reflect the alignment in RDF. A joint meeting of the groups is on the agenda of the next JSC meeting to be held in Glasgow, Scotland in early November 2011.
- The FRBR Review Group is currently developing a consolidation of the FR family of models into a single model; this work is being informed by the development of the RDF representation.
- Both the ISBD and FRBR Review Groups are now seeking to align their RDF elements and vocabularies with each other, RDA, Dublin Core terms and other relevant namespaces.
It therefore seems appropriate to build on the work and infrastructure of the DCMI/RDA Task Group to augment the workplan.
This would require an extension of membership of the Task Group to the communities involved with those additional standards and namespaces.
This proposal is supported by JSC and the co-Chairs of the Task Group.
Co-Chair Gordon Dunsire has discussed this proposal with the FRBR Review Group and the ISBD Review Group during the IFLA 2011 conference. There is enthusiastic support for the proposal. It should be noted that a paper arising from the work of the ISBD/XML Study Group, on the representation of the UNIMARC element set and vocabularies in RDF, was presented at the IFLA 2011 conference and discussed with the Permanent UNIMARC Committee (PUC). The PUC has accepted the recommendations of the paper, and is seeking to initiate a project to implement them.