- Title and statement of responsibility
- Material type
- Publication, distribution, etc.
- Physical description
The other primary model is FRBR. There aren't yet many examples of FRBR-based data, although there are partial examples such as the Work views in WorldCat and the Work and Personal author views in Open Library. The most fully FRBR-ized data appears to be in the VTLS Virtual database and their RDA sandbox, but I admit I haven't spent much time looking at this as it is a "pay fer" offering.
The FRBR model isn't flat, but can be drawn as three groups of inter-related entities. The actual FRBR diagrams are too complex to fit in this blog post, but here's a simplified one that I have used in slide sets:
There is a certain amount of movement in FRBR compared to the flat models of ISBD and MARC. In particular, FRBR offers the possibility of creating paths through data by following the relationships of a single entity through the descriptions of different resources. It also allows something like a Person entity to be treated as a resource on its own and therefore to be the focus of attention for some data view.
The British Library recently announced free and open versions of their British National Bibliography, with records available in a linked data format. Their analysis of the BL data, done in collaboration with Talis, a UK library systems company that is very active in linked data space, resulted in a data model (PDF) that is unlike any we have seen before. What I give below isn't readable in its details, but I wanted to highlight the the key sections or groupings that are revealed in the analysis.
There are a number of interesting aspects to this. To begin with, just by virtue of the diagramming of entities (which each get represented by an oval) you can see how much of the record is represented by named and identified entities rather than plain text. The plain text fields are on the bottom right of the diagram in the lavender boxes. Presented this way, they seem to have less importance than they do in traditional views. In sheer diagram real estate, subjects come out as the largest group, and authors appear to be more substantial than they seem in MARC models where they are reduced to short strings.
I also find it very interesting that publication is represented as an event. This makes sense to me. In FRBR, publication isn't an action but a static description of when and where and who, and the various publications are treated as separate events unrelated to a history of how the Work resurfaces over time for new generations. I like the view that a work comes to us through a series of events, not separate and unrelated manifestations.
I would like to suggest that we explore a variety of models for our data. I don't think we have to adopt one single model, but we should design our data such that it can be used in different views depending on the service being provided. I also think that we should explore these models before we put all of our eggs in the FRBR basket. We might learn something vital that should be taken into consideration for our future bibliographic data.