NISO announces the publication of a special themed issue of Information
Standards Quarterly (ISQ) on the topic of the Evolution of Bibliographic
Data Exchange. Libraries are in the midst of moving away from AACR2 and MARC
21 to the new world of the semantic web, linked data, FRBR, and RDA. As
noted by Ted Fons, Executive Director, Data Services & WorldCat Quality at
OCLC and the guest content editor for this ISQ issue, “the success of the
web as a research tool has dramatically changed the library’s role in the
exposure of library catalogs.…The rise of new metadata initiatives reflects
the need to respond to this change and to increase our effectiveness in the
exchange and management of library metadata.” Fons has gathered together in
the Winter 2013 issue of ISQ a set of thoughtful and informative articles
about the work that is underway in this bibliographic data evolution.

In the feature article, Are Current Bibliographic Models Suitable for
Integration with the Web?, Lars Svensson from the German National Library
discusses why it is important for libraries to make their metadata an
integral part of the web and why libraries need (but don’t yet have) an
agreed-upon model that can draw in entities across the cultural heritage
sector. Paul Moss (OCLC) in his opinion piece, Replacing MARC: Where to
Start, further emphasizes the need to step away from thinking solely about a
single library interchange format and instead consider that “each function
MARC serves should be examined independently and may be replaced by a
different technology.”

The Library of Congress initiated a Bibliographic Framework project
(BIBFRAME) in 2011 to define a replacement for MARC 21. The George
Washington University is one of the early experimenters for BIBFRAME and
Jackie Shieh in the first in-practice article reviews how their
participation was a “transformative opportunity” for their staff “to
contribute and establish a new standard that would benefit researchers
navigating the information sphere.” Another national library, the
Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), is also a leader in defining and
implementing this new bibliographic model. Ted Fons interviews Gildas
Illien, Director of BnF’s Bibliographic and Digital Information Department,
who discusses the need for a new framework for bibliographic data exchange,
what the BnF has already done to transform the way they express their
bibliographic data, what European libraries have been focusing their efforts
on in the past five years related to metadata management, and what the focus
should be in the next two years. 

As an example of how the bibliographic community is addressing these issues,
in the context of the wider web, Richard Wallis (OCLC) reviews the work of
Schema Bib Extend, a W3C Community Group focused on establishing a consensus
within the bibliographic community around proposals for extending the vocabulary to enhance its capabilities in describing
bibliographic resources. Todd Carpenter (NISO) reviews how the NISO
Bibliographic Roadmap project is Charting a Course through a New Exchange
Environment in an effort to ensure that the needs of a variety of affected
stakeholders—not just libraries—will be fully integrated into the new
bibliographic ecosystem.

“It is my hope,” states Fons, “that this set of thoughtful essays provides
you with some insight into the landscape of new metadata initiatives and is
a useful continuation of the dialog on how we can improve data exchange.”

ISQ is available in open access in electronic format on the NISO website.
Both the entire Winter 2013 Evolution of Bibliographic Data Exchange issue
and the individual articles may be freely downloaded. Print copies are
available by subscription and as print on demand. For more information and
to access the free electronic version, visit:


Cynthia Hodgson

ISQ Managing Editor

National Information Standards Organization




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