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  • 1.ISBD for the Semantic Web: namespaces, elements, vocabularies, application profile
    Gordon Dunsire
    Presented at the seminar Libraries and the Semantic Web: the role of International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD), National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 25 Feb 2011

2. Semantic Web
machine-readable metadata
Faster! 24/7/365! Global!
Metadata expressed as atomic statements
A simple, single, irreducible statement
The title of this book is Treasure island
In a standard machine-processable format
Resource Description Framework (RDF)
3. Resource Description Framework
Metadata statement constructed in 3 parts
The title of this book is Treasure island
Subject of the statement = Subject: This book
Nature of the statement = Predicate: has title
Value of the statement = Object: Treasure island
This book has title Treasure island
subject predicate - object
4. Identifiers
Need unambiguous way of identifying each part of the triple for efficient machine-processing
Human labels (This book, has title) no good
Same thing, different labels; different things, same label
Exploit the utility of the URL
Machine-readable, regular syntax, unambiguous
Uniform Resource Identifier (URI)
5. Uniform Resource Identifier
Can be any unique combination of numbers and letters
No intrinsic meaning; its just an identifying label
Can look like a URL
But does not lead to a Web page (in principle ...)
RDF requires the subject and predicate of triple to be URIs
Object can be a URI, or a literal string (Treasure island)
6. Namespaces
URI can be constructed from a base plus a unique, identifying suffix
+ P1001
Base is known as a namespace
Can be abbreviated by human programmer
isbd =
Machine expands abbreviation for processing
7. Everything as triples in RDF
Every aspect of the metadata must be expressed in RDF to be machine-processable
Metadata about real-world objects (books, people, etc.)
Metadata about the predicates (definition, label, scope, etc.)
Common predicates apply to many types of thing (human-readable label, etc.)
High-level RDF namespaces (rdfs, owl)
RDF is expressed in RDF (bootstrap)
8. Creating namespaces and URIs
ISBD is using the Open Metadata Registry
Can assign a running number to the base to create a new URI
Set of properties for creating basic triples
Properties = predicates
rdfs:label for assigning a human-readable label to the subject
isbd:P1001 - rdfs:label - has content form
9. 10. 11. 12. 13. Subject
has content form
14. 15. 16. 17. 18. Subject
spoken word
19. Application profile
Need a way to specify how a useful record can be constructed from RDF triples
Which triples are involved, and from which namespaces?
Sequence? Repeatable? Mandatory?
Sub-component aggregations
Publication statement = place + name + date
Content rules?
20. Mandatory
Not repeatable
Aggregation of simpler elements
Syntax of aggregation (punctuation)