[OAI-implementers] rdf

Young,Jeff jyoung@oclc.org
Thu, 3 May 2001 10:06:41 -0400

I appreciate this discussion on RDF since I'm currently working on an
application of OAI where I plan to use it. The implementation plan defers
the RDF aspect to a later stage, however, so I haven't given much thought to
the complexities related to OAI. A colleague has suggested that I could use
XLink as an alternative, so I'm trusting that somewhere there is a canned
solution that will work for me when the time comes.

Tim states that most OAI developers probably don't need RDF early on, which
is probably true. As an example of a way it might play a role, however, I
thought I'd pass along some information about how I plan to use it.

The Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations project (NDLTD)
has asked OCLC to develop a name authority linking mechanism for their
theses and dissertations records. The proposal for this mechanism can be
found at http://purl.org/alcme/ndltd/AuthLink.html. The implementation plan
is at http://purl.org/alcme/ndltd/AuthLinkImpl.html.

To summarize the proposal, we plan to create a distributed name authority
database using the OAI protocol. Participants can create records in their
local repository and share them with other repositories around the world
using OAI. Since authority control can sometimes be a subtle endeavor, we
expect that the creators of these records will want some level of control
over them. On the other hand, other institutions may have additional
information and/or alternative forms of the names that their communities
prefer. My plan is to use the RDF reification feature
(http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-rdf-syntax/#higherorder) to allow any user around
the world to directly annotate records created by another participant and
then redistribute those records asynchronously with other institutions'
annotations. An RDF-aware harvester would pick off any annotations they
don't already have and incorporate them into their local copy of the record.

I'm close to finishing stage 1 of the implementation plan. Note that the
proposed scheme isn't necessarily limited to the NDLTD application. Comments
and suggestions are welcome.


Jeffrey A. Young
Senior Consulting Systems Analyst
Office of Research, Mail Code 710
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.
6565 Frantz Road
Dublin, OH   43017-3395

Voice:	614-764-4342
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Email:	jyoung@oclc.org