Re: [announcement] DSpace Scraper - Reloaded

From: Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 10:36:58 -0700

Matthew Cockerill wrote:
> This in fact ties back to my original question, when joining the list, about the best ontology(ies) to use for bibliographic data.

For the record, my experience with open and decentralized systems
strongly indicates that this question has no answer.

I believe that the solution (well, if not a solution a step forward) for
data interoperability at a global scale is a mix of explicit ontological
mappings and transformation/adaptation rules.

People already disagree on the use of even basic dublin core fields...
which shows pretty evidently (and against the original intention of the
DC working group) that 'semantic linking by field collision' (even when
namespaced thus globally unique) is a myth, just like words in natural
languages need context to be fully understood and disambiguated, the
same will be true for metadata the more complex, organic and
decentralized the system becomes.

Old-school librarians (and a large population of both the XML and RDF
world) hate this because it's against all they believe in and struggle
to achieve: order and 'reductio ad unum'.

See my blog post on 'data first' systems for more.

Stefano Mazzocchi
Research Scientist                 Digital Libraries Research Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology            location: E25-131C
77 Massachusetts Ave                   telephone: +1 (617) 253-1096
Cambridge, MA  02139-4307              email: stefanom at mit . edu
Received on Wed Aug 10 2005 - 17:33:04 EDT

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