Minutes: 28th Virtual Meeting of the OKFN Working Group for Open Bibliographic Data

Date: February, 5th 2013, 16:00 GMT

Channels: Meeting was held via Skype and Etherpad


  • Adrian Pohl
  • Karen Coyle
  • Tom Johnson
  • Tom Morris
  • On the Etherpad:
    • Peter Murray-Rust
    • Mark McGillivray


  • As there were two new participants to the meeting (who already engaged in discussions on the mailing list though) attended the meeting everybody introduced themselves. The “new” participants were:
    • Tom Morris: “Tom Morris is the top external data contributor to Freebase and has contributed more than 1.6 million facts. He’s been a member of the Freebase community for several years. When not hacking on Freebase, Tom is an independent software engineering and product management consultant.” (taken from here, shortened and updated
    • Tom Johnson: “Thomas Johnson is Digital Applications Librarian at Oregon State University Libraries, where he works on digital curation, scholarly publication, and related metadata and software issues.

Bibframe and data licensing

  • Adrian started a discussion on the bibframe list, see here.
  • Karen: It isn’t clear to me how BIBFRAME will be documented, and whether that documentation will be sufficient to process data. Note that RDA (the cataloging rules) is not freely available, therefore if BIBFRAME does develop for RDA there may be conflicts relating to text such as term definitions.
    • This adresses licensing of bibframe spec, not the bibliographic data but may be a problem in the future if Bibframe re-uses content from the RDA spec.
  • Tom Morris: Licensing policy seems to be orthogonal to modelling process
  • Conclusion: We’ll wait as a working group and not push the LoC further towards open data.
  • Tom Morris: We should think about lobbying for making the process more open.
  • Tom Morris: German National Library and other early experimenters of bibframe should get up their code on github to bring the development forward

Bibliographic Extension for schema.org (schemabibex)

  • See minutes of last meeting for background information.
  • The work is moving forward to create more schema.org properties for bibliographic data — but so far not including journal articles
  • Library view point predominates at schemabibex group, scientists’ view point isn’t represented
  • Karen: Somebody from the scientific community should join schemabibex or start seperate effort. <– Maybe people from scholarlyhtml?

NISO Bibliographic Meeting

  • http://www.niso.org/topics/tl/BibliographicRoadmap/
  • NISO has a grant to hold a meeting of "interested parties" relating to bibliographic data.
  • Goes back to effort of Karen Coyle and another person to include other producers of bibliographic data than libraries (publishers, scientists etc.) in developments of future standards for bibliographic data (like Bibframe).
  • See also the thread on the openbiblio list.
    tfmorris: As much of the information as possible should be published online.
  • Meeting will be held in March or April in Washington D.C.
  • Interested parties can participate in the initial meeting but there's no/little funding. (See this email for the proposed dates of the meeting.
  • "We are planning to have a live-stream of the event, presuming there is sufficient bandwidth at the meeting site."


  • Peter Murray-Rust wrote before the meeting: "I'd like to run a hackfest (in AU) later this month and make Bib an important aspect. Can we pull together a "hacking kit" for such an even (e.g. examples of BibJSON, some converters, a simple BibSoup, etc."
    • Mark McGillivray responded: "yes: I will write a blog post that explains bibsoup a bit more, and we could use a google spreadsheet for simple collection of records."


  • Tom Morris had two questions regarding BibJSON which and Mark provided some answers on the etherpad.
  • Q: What is being done to promoted adoption?
    • MM says: "_I and others continue to use bibjson and promote it on our projects. it is now being used by the open citations project and there will be updates to bibjson.org soon with further recommendations – mostly around how to specify provenance in a bibjson record. Also we have agreed with crossref for them to output bibjson – it needs some fixes to be correct, but is just about there.
  • Q: What tool support is available? (Mendeley, Zotero, converters, etc)
    • MArk says: "The translators are currently unavailable – they will soon be put up at a separate url for translating files to bibjson which can then be used in bibsoup. Mendeley, Zotero etc can all output bib collections in formats that we can already convert, so there is support in that sense. Separating out the translators will also make it easier for people to implement their own."
  • Tim morris: There's PR value in having BibJSON listed on the https://github.com/zotero/translators
  • Ways of promoting BibJSON:
    • Articles: Tom Johnson published an article on BibJSON application in code4lib journal: http://journal.code4lib.org/articles/7949
    • Talks: e.g. at code4lib (Tom Johnson will be there and might give a lightning talk mentioning BibJSON.),
    • Adoption: CrossRef would be a great addition. Need more services like Mendeley, Zotero, Open Library, BibSonomy etc. to support BibJSON (input/output)
  • Tom Johnson asks: What is the motivation to provide BibJSON output?

Open Library

  • Speaking about BibJSON adoption we camte to talking about what will happen to the Open Library. Karen gave a short summary of what are the future plans for Open Library:
    • Open Library currently has no assigned staff resources. Open Library is being integrated into the whole Internet Archive system and may cease using the current infogami platform. It isn't clear if the same UI will be available, nor if there will be any further development in terms of features such as APIs.
    • No batches of records (LC books records or Amazon records) have been loaded since mid-2012.
    • Tom Morris is primarily interested in the data and the process to reconcile it etc. but he also emphasizes the value of the brand and the community.
    • Karen: infogami is interesting as a flexible development platform that sits on a triple store: http://infogami.org/
    • Tom Johnson: What can we do regarding Open Library?
      • Karen: Set up a mirror?
      • Make records for free ebooks available as MARC so that libraries can integrate these into their catalogue. <– Tom Morris would help with that.

Public Domain Books/authors

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