[open-bibliography] More verbs. Electronic 'Items' (Yes, another FRBR thread)

Dan Matei dan at cimec.ro
Tue Jul 13 16:43:56 BST 2010

> -----Original Message-----
> From: open-bibliography-bounces at lists.okfn.org 
> [mailto:open-bibliography-bounces at lists.okfn.org] On Behalf 
> Of Weinheimer Jim
> Sent: 13 iulie 2010 13:24

> So, this led me to consider if there really is such a thing 
> as a "manifestation" and if not, what is it? I have decided 

Another abstraction ? :-)

> My question is: if the manifestation is only a matter of 
> definitions (IF title, publication information, dates etc. 
> are all the same, then it is a duplicate; or if the date is 
> within x number of years, it is a copy, and so on and so on) 
> it seems as if this would be a perfect candidate for 
> automatic sorting and display. If people (or computers) 
> create the metadata record, they would always copy *exactly 
> what they see* and instead of puzzling out which 
> "manifestation" this item belongs to manually, let the 
> machine sort out the displays.

Hm, hm ... I'm sure you spot easily in 93.2% of the cases which are the features of an item which
are not specific to that item (within the series we use to call edition) :-)

> What would this mean in reality: most information currently 
> in the manifestation would go to the item, and then when 
> processing the item (using xml, rdf, RDBMS or whatever) any 
> information that is the same as in another item would be 
> replaced with a URI to that information. As far as displays 
> of the "group of items" goes, that could be left to the 
> discretion of each database manager.

I still believe that the "common factor" (of the items) conventionally called "manifestation" is
useful, from a practical point of view.

For instance, suppose we produce the metadata using the RDF formalism. Let's say we have 4 nice


L2: BY Thomas A Kempis


L4: November 5, 1940

and suppose you have in the catalogue 3 items a, b, c you decide to associate with these 4 literals.

a isbd:titleProper L1
a isbd:statementOfResponsibility L2
a isbd:publisher L3
a isbd:date L4


c isbd:date L4

... in totto 12 rdf:statements.

Now, suppose you notice the common factor of the 3 items and you "invent" an abstraction m, let's
call it "manifestation" (only for the sake of the discussion :-) and you produce the rdf:statemens:

m isbd:titleProper L1
m isbd:statementOfResponsibility L2
m isbd:publisher L3
m isbd:date L4

a frbr:exemplifies m
b frbr:exemplifies m
c frbr:exemplifies m

... in totto 7 rdf:statements.

In the first case you have n (items) x k (literals) statements and in the second case you have n + k

In a catalogue where n use to be 1 or 2, your solution is OK. But in a shared catalogue where n >> 2

> I think instituting something like this would make it far 
> easier both for creating records and training, while 
> everything would be much more accurate than what we have now.

Maybe for the edge cases. But for the usual ones, I don't think is that hard. Even my numismats
learn how to distinguish between the properties of an issue vs. the properties of an exemplar (coin)

Dan Matei

More information about the open-bibliography mailing list