bibliographic issues

From: Bruce D'Arcus <>
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 22:44:36 -0400


Just subscribed to the list after chatting with earlier today with Alf
about some related issues.

Re: recent thread entitled "examples of linking bibliographic RDF to
articles" I wanted to mention a few related things going on. I've been
chatting with Ian Davis, Richard Newman and Leigh Dodds (who is
overseeing Ingenta move to an RDF backend) about the need for better
RDF bibliographic ontologies. One product of that discussion is an OWL
representation of the FRBR, an initial draft (still in need of
documentation) of which is here:

Leigh, Richard and I have also talked about a more grounded
representation that fills a role more like MODS, and so is
significantly richer than bibtex-in-RDF (which always was a mistake).
My knowledge of RDF is thin, but I've been experimenting with an XSLT
that transforms MODS XML into nicely normalized RDF that's currently
looking like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<rdf:RDF xmlns:xs=""

    <Article rdf:about="references/Gettys1990">
       <authorList rdf:parseType="Collection">
<!-- this will probably need to be a sequence -->
          <foaf:Person rdf:about="people#gettys-j"/>
          <foaf:Person rdf:about="people#karlton-p"/>
          <foaf:Person rdf:about="people#mcgregor-s"/>
       <dc:title>The X Window System, Version 11</dc:title>
       <dc:description>A technical overview of the X11 functionality.
This is an update of the X10 TOG paper
       by Scheifler &amp; Gettys.</dc:description>

       <prism:isPartOf rdf:resource="urn:issn:3452-2375"/>

    <Journal rdf:about="urn:issn:3452-2375">
       <dc:title>Software Practice and Experience</dc:title>

    <foaf:Person rdf:about="people#gettys-j">

    <foaf:Person rdf:about="people#karlton-p">

    <foaf:Person rdf:about="people#mcgregor-s">


As a I said, just an experiment, but am hoping Leigh and gang can help
me come up with something better.

Finally, I wanted to respond to this notion that I see repeated a lot:
that citation metadata in RDF will only ever work if it allows
transparent mapping to existing applications (bibtex, endnote, etc.).

I actually think that while this may be true in the short-term, it's
the wrong way to think about the problem long term. What the world
needs is a native RDF citation processor. I happen to think my
(currently XML focused) citeproc could be a good basis on which to do

So think easy XML style language, support for any text-based document
format (latex, wordml, openoffice, docbook), and distributed RDF

Existing bibliographic applications (Endnote, RefWorks, etc.) are
simply not very good, and I think we need to rethink the possibilities
presented with contemporary standards and technologies.

Received on Sat Jul 30 2005 - 02:41:26 EDT

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