I was doing a bit of research on metadata, and found Guidance on the Structure, Content, and Application of Metadata Records for Digital Resources and Collections (available as 270 KB PDF), written in 2003 by the IFLA Cataloguing Section Working Group on the Use of Metadata Schemas. Some of the people on the group have done a lot with FRBR, too, such as Lynne Howarth, Glenn Patton, Barbara Tillett, and Maja Žumer, which probably explains the appendix that attracted my attention. And if something’s FRBR-related and attracts my attention, you know where it ends up: here.
The report defines ten basic metadata elements, and in Appendix One they map these to FRBR’s four user tasks. Just to jog your memory, here are those tasks:
- to find entities that correspond to the user’s stated search criteria (i.e., to locate either a single entity or a set of entities in a file or database as the result of a search using an attribute or relationship of the entity);
- to identify an entity (i.e., to confirm that the entity described corresponds to the entity sought, or to distinguish between two or more entities with similar characteristics);
- to select an entity that is appropriate to the user’s needs (i.e., to choose an entity that meets the user’s requirements with respect to content, physical format, etc., or to reject an entity as being inappropriate to the user’s needs);
- to acquire or obtain access to the entity described (i.e., to acquire an entity through purchase, loan, etc., or to access an entity electronically through an online connection to a remote
That’s from page 82 of the original FRBR report, section 6, “User Tasks.”
Now, when I think of FRBR, I think first of the work-expression-manifestation-item hierarchy, but I need to pay more attention to the user tasks, which after all are the entire reason for FRBR’s existence. (Barbara Tillett has stressed their importance in talks about how FRBR has caused the change from Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules to Resource Description and Access. See, for example, the talk she gave in June about RDA (4.2 MB PDF).)
Here’s the mapping of the ten metadata elements to the user tasks (I’ve shortened the element names for space):
|Conditions of Use||x|
There are similar tables in the FRBR report, but I thought it was interesting to see the user tasks come up in this work on metadata schemas. Has anyone done one for Dublin Core terms, just for completeness?
I don’t know the current status of that metadata working group, but last year Lynne Howarth talked about what comments the report received. Their choice of ten elements wasn’t too popular.