On 04/07/2013 22:04, Young,Jeff (OR) wrote:
The word “record” appears to part of the problem. I’m speaking of identifiable manifestations/items that exist in the world regardless of whether anyone has described them or not. I agree that manifestation records in the past tended to mix things up terribly, but I’m hoping that doesn’t pollute our thinking about the entities themselves moving forward.
The distinction between manifestation and item still exists in the digital realm, but we need to recognize how the mechanics of this distinction play out in modern Web/licensed use cases like the ones I mentioned. The way catalogers describe these entities needs to facilitate these mechanisms, not the other way around.
Kill the record! 🙂
Now we are getting into some interesting matters. I have discussed the concept of “no record” and I still have problems with such an idea because I think there will still be “records”–they will just be made a little differently. In that sense, we are talking more about internal data structures than anything else and in fact, it will just keep the current situation because in our current RDBMS, there are currently no “records” as such but little bits and pieces linked together. From the user’s point of view however, they see separate records just as they have always done.
Perhaps I am just being dense, but it seems to me that from the user’s point of view–and it is absolutely critical to see things from the user’s point of view–they will still be seeing descriptions of specific resources. I agree that people do not want to see references to innumerable identical items repeated ad infinitum, but they still want to see how the various resources they can access are distinguished, that is, if those resources actually are identical or if they are different in some ways.
So, when you say that “The distinction between manifestation and item still exists in the digital realm” I need to ask: could you show me some examples in the digital realm where a single manifestation has lots of different items? The Internet Archive example I gave earlier mixes manifestations and items together and does not fit the FRBR framework. You have mentioned content negotiation, but I still see that as a completely different concern: one of permissions to access the same item, not a matter that one organization will see a specific version of an epub of a novel while another organization will see another epub version of the novel. Each gets access to precisely the same file.
Until I see a significant number of examples of “separate items”–that is, duplicates, that need to be organized under a “manifestation” I will continue to say that we need a different model for digital materials, perhaps similar to what we see in the Internet Archive. Although there are tons of problems with the metadata in the Internet Archive, I happen to like that part of the records, so that kind of a function would be fine with me, but we should not make the mistake of calling such a conglomeration of manifestation/items that we see there as a “manifestation”. It is not an expression or a work. It is something quite different.
Again, I have no love for the FRBR structure and am on record saying that it is based mainly on theoretical, academic and historical ideas that have little relation to what people want and need today. I think there is more than ample proof of that. Still, if we are going to use FRBR terminology, the terms should refer to the same concepts. Otherwise, it leads to complete confusion.