In response to numerous requests, the Library of Congress' Network
Development and MARC Standards Office has drafted an XML schema for an authority element set that may be used to provide metadata about agents (people, organizations), events, and terms (topics, geographics, genres, etc.). This Metadata Authority Description Schema (MADS) was created to serve as a companion to the Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS). As such, MADS has a relationship to the MARC 21 Authority format, as MODS has to MARC 21 Bibliographic-- both carry selected data from MARC 21. There is a high level of compatibility between the MADS and MODS schemas. MADS is expressed using the XML schema language of the World Wide Web Consortium. Note that once the schema is finalized, a few changes may be made to MODS for consistency. An example is that MADS uses the term "event" instead of "conference".
The MADS draft schema is now available for broad review to inform its completion. Based on input from prospective users, the schema will be revised and made available for experimentation. The review period will be between June 4 and July 16, 2004.
The Web site includes the XML schema itself, a document describing the purpose of MADS and details about definitions of the most important elements, and an outline of elements and attributes. A mapping to the MARC 21 Authority Format will be available shortly.