Tag Archives: FRBR

Some recent Work (Expression, Manifestation, Item)

I blame John. He got me interested in FRBR, and long ago he helped me with a slightly mad attempt at FRBRizing Learning Resources. Of course FRBR is for Bibliographic Records, isn’t it? and according to several people I respect it doesn’t work (though other people whom I respect equally say that it does). Personally I always struggled around the expression/manifestation distinction for many types of resource, and always wanted it to play more nicely with the resource/representation approach of the WWW Architecture. But I did keep coming back to it when trying to explain the need to be clear about what exactly was being described in RDF, for example. If you’ve heard me go off on one about Romeo and Juliet, and the play-on-the-stage vs play-on-the-page, or the difference between novels and books, then you’ll know what I mean. So that’s why I got involved in the W3C OpenWEMI working group, certainly I didn’t contribute any expertise on WEMI that wasn’t already covered, but I hope I helped with some of the RDF stuff because I’ve certainly learnt a lot, and now:

Dublin Core announces openWEMI for community review

openWEMI is an RDF vocabulary based on the concepts of Work, Expression, Manifestation, and Item (WEMI) that were first introduced in the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) document produced by a working group of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). That work and subsequent versions form the theoretical basis for library catalog metadata.

This DCMI work product defines a minimally constrained set of classes and properties that can be used in a variety of contexts. Unlike the IFLA work, openWEMI elements are purposely defined without reference to library catalog functions….

See the news item on the Dublin Core website for more information about how you can comment on the work.

Kudos to Karen Coyle for leading us through this work, and thanks to all the other working group members.

FRBRizing learning materials

I may have bitten off more than I can chew. I wanted an example for showing how the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) might be applied to a typical learning resource. I’m not entirely sure that there is such a thing as a typical learning resource, but the OpenYale online lectures seemed seemed like reasonable candidates. I chose one on Newton’s Laws of Motion as my example because it’s a subject I like. I’m no expert on FRBR. If I was I would probably have known better than to choose a complex aggregation of different media types as my example (but would that have been typical?). Anyway, with some help from John Robertson, I came up with the diagram below. (It doesn’t quite model the example: I’ve modelled overhead display content in PowerPoint rather than in chalk.)
Application of FRBR model to online course unit

I’ve described the modelling and rationale in some more detail in a separate document [pdf].

I would warmly welcome any comments, suggestions and pointers to where I’ve gone wrong.