Sunday, July 29, 2012

Re: [ACAT] RDA/FRBR buy in

Posting to Autocat

On 29/07/2012 01:09, Brenndorfer, Thomas wrote:
James Weinheimer wrote: ...
 Because normally, they would be considered separate manifestations. ...
They're always considered separate manifestations. The question is the convention used to process them or represent them. RDA recognizes the entire range of examples you have presented-- from bulk change scenarios of file types to one-off resources with special characteristics. ... It's hard to see what the argument actually is. Do away with the concept of Manifestations because they're difficult to deal with in some scenarios? That misses the point. Establishing a framework for discussion up front makes sense. Enumerating the conventions for handling concepts within the framework makes sense.

That's what FRBR and RDA are doing. Throwing out some examples of complex Manifestations as if they demonstrate that FRBR and RDA are broken doesn't make sense. All they demonstrate is that some convention has to be adopted and perhaps some software developed, but what is being discussed and proposed is still fully covered by the overall framework in FRBR and RDA.

In my last posting, I wasn't so much hitting RDA or FRBR, I was answering the question you put to me: "Why would anyone need to "catalog" these? File characteristic metadata are generated on the fly, and can easily and automatically populate any database."    

Then I attempted to show the problem of how to deal with "formats/manifestations" when they can be generated at the click of a button, and disappear as well. "The Imitation of Christ" example is really good since it shows new formats and obsolete ones in the Internet archive, although they still seem to be there. So, we can imagine this multiplied into the millions, e.g. HathiTrust or Google Books flicking a switch and suddenly, all the texts are in avi and mp3 and wmv and epub and open office and daisy and mobi. Each one creates millions of additional manifestations, although those manifestations may only "exist" when you click the button, kind of a print on demand except it's format creation on demand. Then those same people can decide that nobody needs, e.g. wmv and millions of those resources are gone.

This is probably happening now and is certainly well within the bounds of predictability. In this scenario, there are no theoretical problems handling everything in traditional ways, creating separate manifestations for each format of each resource, but in practical terms the workload quite literally makes this solution impossible. So, my observations were not about cataloging rules but everyday cataloging. It will make a huge difference if these formats are handled separately or not.

I don't know what the solution is, although I can imagine a few options. Obviously, there must be some cooperation with the website administrators, or lacking that, a more generic form of catalog record must be considered.

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