A bit circular or hyperbolic? You can't have both.
On Sep 12, 2014, at 12:04 PM, Galen Charlton <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM, Terry Reese <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> You are right Galen, many care. They shouldn't, but they do. A substantial
>> set of my research time right now is being spent looking at practical
>> applications with bibframe, linked data, and a world without MARC in
>> general -- and I can guarantee that any information that we think we are
>> creating by carefully ordering fields within our record for display purposes
>> isn't going to translation (nor should it).
> I think that's a bit circular. As a perhaps somewhat hyperbolic
> statement, in the case of subject headings, catalogers shouldn't care
> about field order because any information about degree of "aboutness"
> that's implicitly encoded via the order of headings will not
> transition to $FUTURE_METADATA because, in part, existing tools either
> mangle field order or have done nothing useful with it because ILS
> designers haven't cared about it.
> And thus a pattern of fingerpointing can continue!
> Now, there's a slew of assumptions to unpack here and probably little
> testing to back up most /any/ view on the matter (though I would be
> very happy to be corrected on that point):
> - It is possible to somehow quantify the degree to which a concept
> applies to a bibliographic entity
> - Such quantification can be done consistently enough by human beings
> (or textual analysis? strong AIs?) to be reasonably actionable
> - Software exists or can be economically written that does something
> with that data. E.g., tweak relevancy ranking? Feed into a
> recommendation mill?Something else?
> - Whatever gets done with that data can provide a reasonably concrete
> benefit to expert users.
> - ... to naive users.
> - ... to other information systems that have reason to consume library metadata.
> - Even if there is no useful way that aboutness-qualification can be
> used for search, it is useful for displays.
> - Existing MARC data exists of sufficiently quality where
> aboutness-qualification can be usefully extracted.
> - There exists any way to identify such MARC records. (Of course,
> there's no way to tell just by looking at a given MARC record; the
> only criteria that immediately comes to mind to identify such records
> is possibly who cataloged them).
> - There exist people willing and able to test any of these assumptions...
> - ... who will be paid or otherwise appropriately compensated.
>> There are big and exciting things around what we can do with library
>> metadata and lately I've been feeling like the time and effort we spend on
>> this level of insanity as akin to tilting at windmills.
> Channeling my AUTOCAT side, I can imagine a rejoinder to the effect
> that there are big and exciting things that could have been done with
> MARC data that software developers never acted on.
> My Code4Lib side immediately jumps in and says: "but you catalogers
> never clearly articulated what you were up to with your long lists of
> cataloging rules in a way that made sense to us developers".
> Let's just say my internal debates can be fun. :)
> Seriously, I don't disagree that that there are bigger metadata fish
> to fry than what's represented by the MARC field order question, and I
> certainly agree that there big and exciting things that we can be
> However, I think there's also a history of bad communication between
> catalogers and programmers that is getting in the way of moving
> forward (and don't get me wrong, Terry - your efforts have been HUGE
> in keeping conversation going).
> Galen Charlton
> Manager of Implementation
> Equinox Software, Inc. / The Open Source Experts
> email: [log in to unmask]
> direct: +1 770-709-5581
> cell: +1 404-984-4366
> skype: gmcharlt
> web: http://www.esilibrary.com/
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