A weblog following developments around the world in FRBR: Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records.

Maintained by William Denton, Web Librarian at York University. Suggestions and comments welcome at wtd@pobox.com.

Confused? Try What Is FRBR? (2.8 MB PDF) by Barbara Tillett, or Jenn Riley's introduction. For more, see the basic reading list.

Books: FRBR: A Guide for the Perplexed by Robert Maxwell (ISBN 9780838909508) and Understanding FRBR: What It Is and How It Will Affect Our Retrieval Tools edited by Arlene Taylor (ISBN 9781591585091) (read my chapter FRBR and the History of Cataloging).


September 2006
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Moen: user tasks important

Posted by: William Denton, 5 September 2006 7:08 am
Categories: Audio/Video,Conferences

Early in August the RLG Members Forum met in Washington, D.C., and talked about More, Better, Faster, Cheaper. They were all recorded and you can download MP3s and watch the slides — thanks to RLG for this. William Moen gave a talk on Catalogers’ Use of MARC: Learning from Artifacts Through Metadata Utilization Analysis (8.8 MB MP3, 25 minutes). In it, he mentions the four FRBR user tasks (find, identify, select, obtain) several times, stresses their importance, and talks about how MARC fields support them. You’ll want to look at his slides as well:

NASIG conference session on RDA

Posted by: William Denton, 4 September 2006 7:25 am
Categories: Blog Mentions,Conferences,RDA

The Shape of Things to Come: Resource Description and Access (RDA) is a blog posting on NASIG‘s blog about a session at a recent conference. Ed Jones talked about Resource Description and Access and how it’s FRBRish. It’s a good brief overview.


Posted by: William Denton, 3 September 2006 7:29 am
Categories: OpenFRBR

Watch out for an announcement, perhaps at the start of October, about OpenFRBR.

What is OpenFRBR? Well, the motto is “Everyone FRBRize everything.” That should give you a hint.

Weibel’s Dangerous Waters

Posted by: William Denton, 2 September 2006 7:44 am
Categories: Blog Mentions

Stuart Weibel’s Dangerous Waters blog post of 25 August does a few quick tests to compare Open WorldCat and Google Book Search. He runs into some problems when trying to find a manifestation of a particular expression of Plato’s Republic, because it was published as The Republic of Plato.

Users will benefit from FRBRization of such services. Should The Republic of Plato have appeared within a search for Plato’s Republic? Yeah, for sure. How realistic is it to expect that it can be achieved using economical approaches to FRBRization? Good question.

I think any classic work like that should be handled easily by a good FRBR algorithm. If I remember my MARC right, there should be a 240 Uniform Title field for The Republic of Plato that would group it with the others. Besides, anything by Plato with “Republic” in the title is pretty easy pickings.

RedLightGreen closing

Posted by: William Denton, 1 September 2006 7:39 am
Categories: Audio/Video,Blog Mentions,Implementations,OCLC

One of my first posts here was about RedLightGreen as an example of semi-FRBRization. RedLightGreen was done by RLG, which merged with OCLC a few months ago. It’s not unexpected that OCLC is closing down RedLightGreen, because they do similar things in WorldCat.

Here’s a quote from the announcement sent out by Merrilee Proffitt of OCLC:

When we evaluated RedLightGreen against WorldCat.org, it was clear that the two services were very closely aligned in terms of features, and that it would be a waste of resources to maintain and improve both services in tandem with one another. The only key feature that distinguished RedLightGreen from WorldCat.org was citation formatting, and the WorldCat.org development team quickly acknowledged that this feature would be a useful addition to WorldCat.org and are working quickly to make this feature available. Below is an overview of RedLightGreen features, and how they are covered in WorldCat.org.

  • FRBRization of results: RedLightGreen uses a FRBR-like approach to group works in RedLightGreen. OCLC is already employing a similar FRBR-like approach in Open WorldCat. Grouping of works is slightly different than in RedLightGreen; for example, titles in different languages are treated as separate works.

With only one system to run, I hope all the people doing FRBR work at OCLC can take the best bits of RedLightGreen and roll out some exciting new stuff.

There’s some talk about this on the new Talking with Talis podcast, titled RedLightGreen Gang, and FRBR and WikiCat come up in the chat.

(Seen on The Medium is the Message.)

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