More on Serials and Linked Data

Last year I wrote an article on serials, FRBR, and linked data in the Journal of Library Metadata. My main goal was to re-think how libraries can make connections between articles and the journals in which they’re published using linked data. I used the FRBR model to link the article and the journal together at the Item level, envisioning both the article and the journal being positioned as Works.

I never felt entirely happy with my model, but I couldn’t figure out a better way at the time. I recognized several months ago that my thinking, when I wrote the article, was limited because I was focused on trying to create some kind of symmetry in the model.

Recently, I came up with another way to think about connecting journals and their articles, still using the FRBR model, and I think this makes a lot more sense. In my original article, I looked at the journal from a FRBR perspective and saw each individual issue of a journal as the Item in the FRBR hierarchy. But it was awkward, and I don’t think it worked particularly well.

In re-imagining this, however, I realized that an individual issue of a journal is really an expression of that journal.

A visual diagram of the FRBR hierarchy for a journal and an article in that journal

Serials FRBR model to link articles and journals together

The journal itself (“The New Yorker,” “The Paris Review,” “The New England Journal of Medicine”) is a work; it is a conceptual thing that doesn’t have expression outside of the issues that are published as part of its run. Each issue that is published is another expression of that journal. Similarly, if you think of an article as a work, they are published as an expression in a particular issue of a journal.

I think this model works much more organically, and makes a lot more sense that what I was originally trying to force to make sense because I was fixated on symmetry.

The other question I asked in the article was how we can deal with journal changes using linked data in the FRBR model. Merges, splits, and title changes can still create problems for someone in a library trying to find a particular resource. But I think linked data itself can solve this problem, without us needing to change the FRBR model by creating something like “super works” or “journal families.” We have a good way of linking former and succeeding titles together, but it doesn’t work as well when our metadata is contained in independent catalogs. However, if our “records” exist on the web and are openly linked, we can link to a former or succeeding title even if it’s not held in our own unique collection.

I don’t know if an idea like this will be picked up by the people who are currently arguing about the models we should use in a linked data environment. I suspect it’s too simplistic for them, which is what makes it appealing to me, but catalogers seem to like to make things as complicated as possible. But I felt that the niggling annoyance about my previously published model disappeared when I started thinking about linking resources together this way.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you think this model makes sense?

Jumping Right In

I can hardly believe it’s almost September. I know I’m not the only person saying this. Summer seems to have flown by, as usual. And this summer has been more exciting than most, at least for me.

I’ve made it through my first week in my new job as Web Services Librarian at Sonoma State University. I am so, so excited to be here. My new colleagues have been beyond warm and welcoming, and I feel like we are going to make an excellent team. I’m already compiling my list of projects to tackle, and I love that I will be allowed and able to experiment with new things and do the work I love most: using the web to make library services better for the community.

Of course, after the first week at any new job, I’m feeling filled up with information and newness and my brain is kind of swirling. It’s all good stuff, but man, I feel like I could sleep for three days. Unfortunately, I do not have the opportunity to do that, because I’m leaving for Greece tomorrow evening for a week-long Semantic Web Summer School. It is going to be fantastic, but at this point, I really wish it was happening, oh, I don’t know, next year.

And once I get back from Greece, we’ve got four weeks until our wedding.

So yeah, I’m jumping into this new year (well, new school year, for those of you who still think in terms of the academic calendar) with both feet, straight into the deep end. But the water is lovely.

Onward and Upward

It seems way too recent that I was writing a similar blog post, but life is ever changing, right? Yes, I’m moving on yet again. I’ve accepted a new position as the Web Services Librarian at Sonoma State University.

I’ve been so lucky to be a part of the California Digital Library, for however brief a period. I learned a lot, and had the chance to work with some truly brilliant, not to mention fun, warm, and generous people. It was not an easy decision to leave, but it was the right one for me, and (I hope) for Sean and me, and for our future.

I’m looking forward to being back on a campus, and working directly with students and faculty again. My new position will encompass a very wide range of projects and responsibilities, and I will have the opportunity to collaborate with yet another great team on innovative, user-focused services and projects. This is also a tenure-track position, which is really exciting for me. And which means that hopefully it’ll be a long time before I have to write another of these posts.

We won’t be moving right away, so we have at least another six months or so to enjoy Oakland (whee!) before making our move up to wine country (apparently, I really like living in wine country).

Thanks to all of my amazing colleagues at CDL for teaching me so much. And thanks to my soon-to-be new colleagues at Sonoma State for welcoming me into your fold. I can’t wait to start working with you!

ALA Annual Chicago 2013

Once again, I find myself packing my schedule with overlapping events as I prepare for ALA Annual. I’m excited to go to Chicago: The few times I’ve been there before I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m flying in Thursday afternoon and leaving Tuesday morning, so I have a nice chunk of (already over scheduled) time there.

What am I doing at ALA?

Friday I’ll be attending the Print Archive Network meeting at the Newberry Library, then the OCLC Americas Regional Council Member meeting. I’m having coffee with my former Director, and hopefully catching Steven Levitt’s Opening Keynote at 4.

Saturday I’m going to see Jaron Lanier’s talk in the morning, then the OCLC presentation on the Power of Shared Library Data at the Network Level. There’s a Next Generation Technical Services IG meeting at 1, then probably the MARC Formats Transition IG meeting, where I’ll (hopefully) learn a little more about BIBFRAME Instances. Then, in the evening there is a Linked Data talk on Managing Authorities. Saturday night I believe I’m going on some EBSCO hosted boat cruise. Fun times!

Sunday is the OCLC Update Breakfast, then I’ll have to decide between the Metadata IG and the Library Linked Data IG. There’s a WEST meeting in the afternoon, which unfortunately conflicts with the Top Tech Trends panel (which I’m actually on the committee for this year). I’m not sure how I’m going to handle that conflict yet. The LITA Presidents Program with Cory Doctorow sounds awesome, and then I’ll probably go to the LITA Happy Hour.

Monday morning there is an OCLC session on Metadata Management, then a presentation on what their Research Group is up to. And I’m hoping to see Alice Walker’s talk! Then I have the afternoon to myself, to explore Chicago. I’m hoping to meet up with my cousin and her husband at some point.

I’m also hoping there will be an LSW meet up somewhere. I’m looking forward to pizza at Lou Malnati’s, and a shopping excursion at Fox & Obel. And I’m really hoping the weather isn’t too humid or stormy.

What do you think I should make time for in Chicago? Are you going to be there? Want to grab some coffee and a cookie?

I fixed it!

Last week I discovered some wonkiness happenings with pages in my wordpress installation. I recently moved from one hosting account to another, and I figured something off must have happened when I was re-setting up this site. And I was right. I had some extra lines in my .htaccess file that were causing some issues, but I think I fixed them.

It’s always a little daunting for me when I have to dig around the innards of my websites. I am 50 percent confident about that kind of surgery, and 50 percent totally not sure what I’m doing. When it comes to web development stuff I am still the kind of amateur that is most of the time faking it and poking at things until something does what I want. I’m not sure I fixed this problem the correct way, but it looks like I fixed it, so…I’m good with that.

If you encounter any more wonkiness, please, let me know!