[OAI-implementers] Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS) available for trial use

Rebecca S. Guenther rgue@loc.gov
Thu, 13 Jun 2002 17:11:37 -0400 (EDT)

Announcement: Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS) available for trial

The Library of Congress' Network Development and MARC Standards Office,
with interested experts, has developed the Metadata Object Description
Schema (MODS) , which is a bibliographic element set that may be used for a
variety of purposes, particularly for library applications.  Information
about MODS and the schema (version 1.2) is available at:

As an XML schema it is intended to be able to carry selected data from
existing MARC 21 records as well as to enable the creation of original
resource description records. It includes a subset of MARC fields and uses
language-based tags rather than numeric ones, in some cases regrouping
elements from the MARC 21 bibliographic format. The elements inherit MARC
semantics, so are more compatible with existing library data than other
metadata schemes.

MODS could potentially be used as follows:
* as a Z39.50 Next Generation specified format
* as an extension schema to METS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission
* to represent metadata for harvesting
* for original resource description in XML syntax (using MARC
* for representing a simplified MARC record in XML
* for metadata in XML that may be packaged with an electronic

MODS includes a subset of data from the MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic
Data. As an element set that allows for the representation of data already
in MARC-based systems, it is intended to allow for the
conversion of core fields from a MARC 21 record, while some specific data
may be dropped. As an  element set for original resource description, it
allows for a simple record to be created, in some cases using more general
tags than those available in the MARC record.  The Library of Congress has
developed transformations to move MARC 21 records from 2709 form to
MARCXML to MODS, with the software available from the MARCXML Web site.

There has been wide review and input to the development of the schema,
which is now available for trial use.  It will remain stable for the next
six months, during which we invite comments as a result of experimentation.
 For questions or comments please email the Office at ndmso@loc.gov.

Sally McCallum, Chief
Network Development and MARC Standards Office
Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA