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National Library of Medicine Technical BulletinNational Library of Medicine Technical Bulletin

Table of Contents: 2015 MAY–JUNE No. 404

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NLM BIBFRAME Update

Fallgren N. NLM BIBFRAME Update. NLM Tech Bull. 2015 May-Jun;(404):e13.

2015 June 26 [posted]

In November 2014, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) announced that it was taking a different approach to BIBFRAME (BF) experimentation (see NLM Early Implementers registration).  This new approach involved development of a core, widely shareable BF vocabulary that could be extended for greater granularity with existing descriptive schema.   In pursuit of this goal, NLM has been collaborating with Zepheira, George Washington University (GWU), and University of California, Davis (UCD) in development of the BF Lite vocabulary, as hosted by Zepheira.  Part of the perspective NLM brings to this collaboration is a focus on creating new cataloging data directly in BF rather than converting legacy bibliographic data.

The scope of NLM work on BF development to date has been deliberately narrow in order to keep short term goals modest and achievable.  NLM and GWU produced a spreadsheet that correlated BF Lite with PCC RDA BIBCO Standard Record (BSR) elements and RDA RDF properties.  The broader group of collaborators used that spreadsheet as a starting point for discussion, evolving it to a static snapshot (as of June 8, 2015) of a portion of the BF Lite core vocabulary.  The resulting spreadsheet includes BF Lite properties and classes that expand beyond the BSR elements, but that NLM and GWU think are appropriate for cataloging print monographs.  In contrast, the BF Lite vocabulary on http://bibfra.me continues to evolve and includes properties and classes that are applicable more broadly than to print monographs. 

To demonstrate how the BF Lite core vocabulary in the spreadsheet can be applied, NLM and GWU manually produced two mock-ups of original BF cataloging using that vocabulary with extensions from other schema.  Each mock-up provides two examples of cataloging a print monograph using BF Lite with a modular approach: one extends BF Lite mainly with Zepheira's BF extended vocabularies and the other extends BF Lite mainly with RDA RDF properties. These mock-ups are publicly available on Google Drive: The myth of the addicted army and The contributions of Rudolph Virchow.

The experimental BF vocabulary and mappings released with this announcement are not complete or final, but rather a starting point.  We think our efforts have produced a vocabulary sufficient to test the theory that a BF vocabulary built from a core of widely shareable properties provides flexibility and extensibility for describing diverse resources.  It is our hope and expectation that both the spreadsheet and the BF Lite core vocabulary will be used by the community for experimentation, so that BF can evolve and develop in a tested, community-driven manner.  NLM believes that BF development is still fluid and should evolve through thoughtful vetting and testing, with emphasis on creating new data rather than converting legacy data.

NLM welcomes community feedback about our experimentation. We have set up a public GitHub repository named BIBFRAME-NLM where we request that you post all comments, issues and questions.  An expanded version of this announcement and links to related documents above can be found in the "read me" section of the BIBFRAME-NLM repository.  There is no login required to view the documents or to view comments and issues in the BIBFRAME-NLM repository; however, you will need to create a GitHub username and password to contribute comments, issues, or questions.  When contributing comments, issues, or questions, please apply the prepopulated labels indicating what you are commenting on, e.g., the spreadsheet, the mock-ups. 

By Nancy Fallgren
Cataloging and Metadata Management Section

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