Thing-athon: strings and things in RDA and linked data

The Thing-athon is a hackathon for metadata created using RDA: Resource Description and Access and the RDA editor RIMMF, where catalogers, developers, and vendors get together to explore RDA and its application beyond the MARC environment. The Thing-athon is based on the Jane-athons that focus on Jane Austen and her works; these have been a great success and a lot of fun. So make sure to include our event in your conference plans.

The Thing-athon is as a ticketed event at ALA Midwinter 2016 in Boston and will take place on Thursday, January 7, 2016, at the Lamont Library on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge. It will be a day-long event, running from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Refreshments and a pizza lunch will be provided.

If you are attending or thinking of attending this event, follow this link to register for the pre-event live online RIMMF training session scheduled for December 15, 2015 from 1:00-3:00 PM (EST).

Special Topics

Each of the following topics will be the focus of one or more collaborative teams/tables during the RIMMFing session on the day. Each team will contain 4-6 members and have an expert leader, and/or access to a roving expert coach. RIMMF may be used to illustrate the issues discussed. Teams and individuals may focus on specific examples within the topics.

New to RDA and RIMMF?

Explore the basic features of pure RDA using RIMMF, the RDA data editor, by working in groups or individually on one of the following scenarios commonly encountered in academic and research libraries.

Digitization. A focus on how RDA relates metadata for digitized resources to the metadata for original resources, and how RIMMF can be used to improve the quality of MARC 21 records during digitization projects.

Digitizing a printed resource creates at least one new Manifestation of the same Expression; in fact, each online format is a separate Manifestation requiring different software and hardware.

  • Find a digitized resource online and use RIMMF to find and import a MARC record for the original resource.
  • Make the FRBRized data compliant with RDA using the online source of information.
  • Clone the data for the original resource for each digitized manifestation, adjust as necessary, and link the resources.
  • Export the RDA/RIMMF data for each manifestation as MARC records, and compare the results with the imported MARC record.

Undergraduate editions. A focus on issues of multiple editions that have little or no change in content, vs. significant changes in content, and how RDA accommodates the different scenarios.

FRBR and RDA are based on a separation of content data from carrier data. If the content changes, a new Expression is required; if the carrier changes, a new Manifestation is required. Undergraduate textbooks, covering STEM subjects for instance, are often published with new editions statements; when this happens, the carrier identification data for a textbook will have changed, but that does not necessarily mean that the content of the new publication has actually changed.

  • Use RIMMF to find and import MARC records or create native RDA data for examples of different publications of the same undergraduate work.
  • Provide the identifying data for the different publications.
  • If content in the new publication has changed, provide new content data as new Expression data.
  • Create relationship links between the data for the various editions.

Interested in RDA and linked data for academic, research, and special collections?

Contribute to the development of RDA in group discussion on topics faced by institutional repositories and other types of special collection, using RIMMF and real RDA data to illustrate the issues and explore ways to resolve them.

Strings vs things. A focus on replacing strings in metadata with URIs for things. Higher education and research library data tend to store human-readable labels rather than machine-readable identifiers. If the labels for names and titles do not use linked authority control, relating the underlying things must rely on matching strings, whether they are transcribed or recorded as access points.

The RSC is developing RDA’s “four-fold path” for relationship data in light of RDF linked data and the forthcoming consolidated FRBR model.

    Discuss the differences between structured and unstructured data, transcribed and recorded data, and linked data, and their impact on cataloging and retrieval services.

Institutional repositories, archives and scholarly communication. A focus on issues in relating and linking data in institutional repositories and archives with library catalogs. Institutional repositories and archives hold a wide range of resources associated with teaching and research. Many of the repository resources are often intrinsically related, such as conference presentations, pre-prints, and final published papers, as is recognized in the Scholarly Works Application Profile, based on the same FRBR model as RDA. The resource creators also have complex relationships with each other and with academic departments, institutions, and research groups.

The RSC wishes to develop RDA to meet the needs of institutional repositories and archives.

  • Discuss the element and vocabulary refinements and extensions for RDA that will support the use of application profiles for academic communication, including relationship designators for agents involved in the process of research collaboration and publication, and categorization of scholarly resources.

Rare materials and RDA. A continuing discussion on the development of RDA and DCRM2 begun at the JSC meeting and the international seminar on RDA and rare materials held in November 2015.

The RSC has prioritized the development of RDA to meet the needs of special collection, archive, and museum communities for rare and unpublished resources.

  • Contribute to the discussions ongoing from the recent JSC meeting and the subsequent RLS-athon on RDA’s treatment of rare materials, including accommodation and guidance for transcription data, differentiation of Item and Manifestation, etc.

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Thing-athon: strings and things in RDA and linked data

REGISTER
Event Code: ALA1
To be held in the Forum Room of Lamont Library
on the campus of Harvard University
Thursday, January 7 2016
10:00am - 4:00pm
Cambridge, MA

Fees
ALA Member $269
Non-Member $309

Want to attend the Thing-athon without registering for the ALA Midwinter Meeting?

No problem! Simply go to the registration link above, choose between the member or nonmember option (non members will have to create an ALA account but are not required to become members), and when you arrive at the Registration Category page and scroll down to the bottom of the page and select the Single Session option. After another page of questions, you will arrive at the Sessions and Events page, where you can chose the RDA Thing-athon for purchase.

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During the session participants will:

  • see a very brief review of RIMMF workflow
  • work in small guided groups to create RDA data for a variety of academic materials and related works, using RIMMF
  • see the results of their combined efforts in RIMMF views and RDF views
  • discuss issues you have identified from your use of RIMMF and RDA
  • discuss the big issues facing library linked data and shared cataloging

We expect the working groups to contain 4-6 members with varying experience of using RDA and RIMMF. There will be experts in RDA and RIMMF on hand to provide assistance. Each group will work with a specific topic.

Participant preparation
Before the session you should prepare to be an active participant (all these suggestions are optional but highly recommended if you wish to make the most of the Thing-athon):

  • download RIMMF3
    • Windows OS required
    • Apple OS users, email Diane Hillmann for assistance with options
  • view tutorials on how to use RIMMF to relate Work, Expression, Manifestation, Item, and Agent (PFC) data
  • attend a free 2-hour live RIMMF training session (highly recommended by participants at the previous Jane-athons)--follow this link to register for the online RIMMF training session scheduled for December 15, 2015 from 1:00-3:00 PM (EST).
  • practice rimmfing as many of your own resources as you can
  • bring as many examples of academic resources as you can, for use in the session; see here for guidelines on bringing scans or photocopies
  • bring your web-enabled laptop with RIMMF already loaded and tested
  • training access to the RDA Toolkit will be provided for the session
  • if you are unable to bring a laptop or do any of the suggested steps above, come anyway and watch and help the team leader at your table do the actual rimmfing

Goals
After the session you will have:

  • a better appreciation of the functionality and utility of RDA without the constraints of the MARC format
  • an understanding of the basics of library linked data
  • an understanding of the issues of cataloging academic resources in the modern world.
  • a set of illustrative data structured as pure RDA in RIMMF format, to play with, build on, and share with colleagues, available here
  • a set of illustrative data structured as RDF linked data triples to play with, build on, and share with colleagues and Jane-ite friends

Additional Links
For more about this event, return often to its webpage at the RDA Registry. This page will be updated with useful stuff as we get ready to go to Boston.

Disclaimer: We will not be teaching RDA, but we are confident that everyone will learn a great deal about relationships and linked data in RDA.

Bookmark this page for updates on this event.