[OAI-implementers] rdf

Thomas G. Habing thabing@uiuc.edu
Wed, 02 May 2001 10:01:08 -0500

Hi all,

I would like to concur with Eric's statements, and also to solicit
criticisms or comments regarding some sample RDF metadata files we have
created for our DLib project.  (These are all well-formed XML that pass the
SiRPAC RDF parser, but we don't have an XML schema for them yet.)  A sample
is available at
http://dli.grainger.uiuc.edu/publications/05_lecuyer_full.met, and more can
be made available upon request.  Note:  We have taken extensive liberties
with the Dublin Core Qualifiers (DCQ), creating some of our own refinements
and encodings, plus we have utilized a version of the Dublin Core Agents
standard, which we realize may never be officially sanctioned.  This is all
still very experimental on our part, and we are deliberately pushing the
standards as much as we can.

Like Eric we are not that interested in AI, ontologies, and the semantic web
per se, but we are interested in using RDF's model and syntax (not RDF
schema, at least yet) as a _standard_ way to express relations between
metadata (i.e. RDF containers, statements about statements, mixing
namespaces both for use in creating the RDF graphs (parseType="Resource")
and also for use as literals (parseType="Literal" -- see our use of MathML
in the above example).   We also like the ability to extract triples from
the RDF in a standard way, so as to create searchable databases.  (We also
have an experimental search interface that utilizes this.)

I too think that RDF (at least, model and syntax) and OAI would make a nice

Kind regards,

Thomas G. Habing
Research Programmer, Digital Library Initiative
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
052 Grainger Engineering Library, MC-274
thabing@uiuc.edu, (217) 244-7809

Eric Lease Morgan wrote:
> I am interested in passing RDF in the metadata element of an OAI GetRecords
> response so when I write a harvesting application and can pass the content
> of the metadata element off to an RDF storage tool (like Redland, RDFStore,
> or rdfdb) without further processing.
> I am rather new to this whole thing, so please excuse my ignorance. I am not
> interested, at the present time, in any AI applications. AI has come and
> gone so many times since computers were used predict where bombs would fall
> that I am a bit jaded by the whole idea.
> As a librarian who does applied R&D I am interested in exploring how to
> collect, organize, archive, and disseminate data and information. RDF
> provides guidelines for describing data/information -- the triples. It seems
> to provide these guidelines in an extensible manner, and it is not tied to
> any particular vocabulary. In fact, it provides the means for extending
> existing vocabularies. It is used as a container for metadata. OAI provides
> a means for querying a repository and getting back sets of metadata.
> Why couldn't the metadata returned by a GetRecords response be represented
> in an RDF format? If RDF is a good way to describe metadata, and databases
> were designed to hold this metadata, then OAI harvesters could directly save
> RDF from the GetRecords response to the these databases.
> For example, it seems possible for me to convert the entire corpus of the
> Open Directory Project into RDF. I could then save this data into some sort
> of database application such as Redland, RDFStore, or rdfdb. Once in one of
> these sorts of applications I can provide searching and reporting mechanisms
> against them. I could then use OAI to harvest the content of the "deep Web"
> -- the content of databases, have the metadata returned in RDF, and then
> save this data to Redland, RDFStore, or rdfdb as well. OAI strengths seems
> to be the provision of an API for querying remote resources for their
> metadata. RDF's strength lies in describing how that metadata is structured.
> Why not combine them?
> More to the point, I believe I am more interested in #1, #3, and #4 above. I
> would like to leverage the ability to mix and enhance Dublin Core tags, akin
> to the use of exploiting RDF primitives, and I would like to expose my
> metadata in RDF for further processing.
> --
> Eric Lease Morgan
> Digital Library Initiatives, NCSU Libraries
> http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/staff/morgan/
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