The RDA initiative has created a great expectation among the international library community, which has been heavily involved in the preparatory work. Authority control or access point control refers to the normalisation of controlled access points headings and the provision of alternative and related access points. Authority control:. Controlled access points for authorized, variant forms created for authority control and the relationships between authority records underpin navigation by end users.
Authority control remains a predominantly manual process and automation of the process is a precondition for scalability. Publishers are increasingly aware of the potential contribution automated authority process can make to rights management and developing automated approaches to identification of authors, e. The scope of the national bibliography should be reflected in the scope of the authority file. Thus, NBAs that include journal articles in the national bibliography should include the authors and contributors to those articles in the authority file. In practice however, most NBAs cannot afford to catalogue articles and are unable to create authority records for their authors.
This is an area for stimulating research into more efficient approaches to authority control. The scope of authority files may also extend to titles. Authority control is an expensive process. Various international initiatives exist with the objective of reducing the cost of authority control through co-operation. Such initiatives also contribute significantly to the ease of searching in a heterogeneous environment. Examples of projects include:. In , contributors included 34 agencies in 27 countries..
It is a core activity of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging. With the development of RDA as an internationally used cataloguing rule set, RDA authority control requirements will become broadly used within the global library community. The content designation - the codes and conventions established explicitly to identify and further characterize the data elements within a record and to support the manipulation of that data - is defined by each of the MARC formats.
The content of the data elements that comprise a MARC record is usually defined by standards outside the formats. IFLA recommends provision of subject access to national bibliographies. Subject indexing schemes provide controlled access to the content of resources. Schemes define concepts and relationships between concepts to support user navigation. Subject indexing schemes express concepts in a way that is language-dependent. Multi-national initiatives to promote the interoperability of subject indexing across language barriers can involve intellectual mapping or matching of terms representing the same concept.
IFLA recommends the adoption of subject classification schemes for arrangement of the national bibliography. Classification schemes may be directly related to the subject scheme used or independent schemes. There is increasing interest in the potential of classification schemes to identify concepts in a linguistically and culturally neutral way.
An identifier is an association between a string a sequence of characters and an information resource. That association is made manifest by a record that binds the identifier string to a set of identifying resource characteristics. National Bibliographic Agencies often act as the national maintenance agency for standard identifiers and take responsibility for their assignment. In other countries the role may be assumed by a trade, standards or commercial organisation.
Standard identifiers support interoperability throughout the supply chain. They are an essential component of resource description and an indicator that a resource has been formally published. National bibliographic agencies can use standard identifiers to locate additional metadata for resources and the following product identifiers are commonly used in national bibliographies:. It is strongly recommended that NBAs retain standard identifiers whenever associated with resources or recorded in accompanying metadata.
In ISBD descriptions, the relevant standard identifier is entered in the standard number and terms of availability area of the bibliographic description. Library management and other bibliographic database systems commonly assign local system control numbers to bibliographic records however these are primarily for internal database maintenance and of limited external value to users.
Local system identifiers commonly change on migration from one system to another or with database management initiatives and they are therefore unreliable for long term identification purposes. It is recommended that NBAs assign and maintain some form of unique bibliographic identifier for each record supplied to users in order that these can be managed effectively over time.
Although the NBN is not yet a formal standard, details of the proposed specification are available. The purpose of the NBN is to enable persistent resource identification and the NBN enables each entry in the national bibliography to be unambiguously referenced.
It is recommended that:. Such identifiers enable resources to be accurately identified by reconciling a publicly visible ID to the current address of the metadata or content in a catalogue or digital store even when this changes over time. It is intended as an interim system to be used until the URN framework is well established.
The resolution service then redirects the user to the appropriate URL. The DOI system of unique identifiers is based on the Handle System and allows the allocation of a unique digital identifier to commercial digital publications.
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The Archival Resource Key ARK system is location and protocol independent and is a new approach to persistent identification. It was developed in by John Kunze for custodians of archived digital objects, and emphasises the principle of stewardship of resources and their naming schemes over time. This section outlines some of the most important.
ISANs are unique, permanent reference numbers for audiovisual works registered in the ISAN system and may be applied to all types of audiovisual work.
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The ISRC can be encoded directly into the product to provide a digital fingerprint and is fundamental to royalty collection in the digital age. Although developed by the book trade to manage back catalogues and intellectual property rights, the ISTC has obvious potential for FRBR implementations. For example, an ISTC identifying a particular translation of a work would relate all the manifestations which embody that translation. The ISWC has many potential applications in tracking and exchanging information about musical works, e.
Electronic journals may be available in a range of different digital formats, e. Unambiguous identification of entities e. The new generation of identifiers deals with works and expressions and therefore can facilitate the identification of relationships between manifestations and people or institutions. As the number of identifiers and their associated metadata sets increases, the need to ensure interoperability has been recognised.
Traditionally libraries have exchanged metadata in domain specific formats such as MARC MAchine Readable Cataloging and offered some limited text based download formats to end users. In the latter case there has been limited standardisation although some library OPACs have supported personal bibliographic citation management tools such as EndNote. More recently, libraries have begun to offer metadata in less proprietary formats e.
RDF , often as part of open data initiatives designed to make their metadata more accessible to wider user communities. This is a very old format which originated at the US Library of Congress in the s. While the majority of library software available still uses variations of the MARC format, there is an increasing push to implement new XML based formats due to their increased flexibility.
It has also been used by UNESCO for its library products, mainly to help developing countries move to automated library management systems and standard data formats. It is the most extensively used MARC format in the world and a de facto standard. It has been designed to be both a production format and an exchange format. There are five MARC 21 formats:. Many countries have developed national versions of MARC, in order to accommodate local practices.
To address this multiplicity of MARC formats, IFLA fostered the development of an international format dedicated to the exchange of bibliographic data among national libraries. The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative DCMI is an organisation dedicated to promoting the widespread adoption of interoperable metadata standards and developing specialised metadata vocabularies.
The initiative began in with a workshop in Dublin, Ohio, that brought together librarians, digital library researchers, content providers, and text markup experts to improve discovery standards for information resources. The concept of application profiles emerged within the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative as a way to declare which elements from which namespaces are used in a particular application or project.
Application profiles are defined as schemas which consist of data elements drawn from one or more namespaces, combined together by implementers, and optimised for a particular local application. All mark-up languages are derived from SGML Standard Generalized Mark-up Language , which was used in the s in professional environments for technical and scientific publishing. Because of its flexibility and extensibility, it supports the expression of different data models. XML is accepted as an industry standard and therefore facilitates interoperability across sectors and is generally easier to process than alternative options.
XML is also more powerful for the presentation of hierarchical or analytical information and allows good link management between bibliographic and authority records and digital resources. XML formats are used in the library and archives world, as well as in the publishing and book trade industry. It includes a subset of MARC fields and uses language-based tags rather than numeric ones, in some cases regrouping elements from the MARC21 bibliographic format.
Onix for Books is a very comprehensive and sophisticated format, in order to allow as much functionality as possible in the different environments. The most widely implemented release, Onix 2. Libraries have long been interested in the potential for using publisher information as a basis for catalogue records in order to improve efficiency. Publisher migration from proprietary local formats to Onix has made this a more realistic proposition by reducing the overhead in maintaining multiple translations to MARC.
NBAs responsible for maintaining a CIP programme often accept Onix formatted files as notification of forthcoming titles from publishers. Although BIBFRAME will be designed to cater for library specific needs it will also support the needs of the wider information community and offer new opportunities for integration. The initiative will investigate a range of bibliographic data issues including:. A number of libraries have begun to experiment with BIBFRAME and while not yet in a final stable form, it has excited considerable interest and debate in the library community.
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This section provides information on standards and best practice relating to the exchange of bibliographic metadata via file transfer including:. In the absence of international standards in this area, it is good practice for NBAs to establish, maintain and publicise conventions relating to the naming and labelling of data files supplied from their sites. Unique file names created in a consistent form should ideally assist both machine and human processing of the files themselves by incorporating elements conveying:.
In addition to formal naming conventions it is also good practice for NBAs to supply text files as summaries to accompany data files and to document their contents. Such files should ideally contain basic statistical information describing the contents of the file e. The use of such text files can greatly assist users in verifying that they have received a complete copy of the file.