Image via WikipediaThe Variations/FRBR project at Indiana University has announced the release of an initial set of XML Schemas for the encoding of FRBRized bibliographic data.
The Variations/FRBR project aims to provide a concrete testbed for the FRBR conceptual model, and these XML Schemas represent one step towards that goal by prescribing a concrete data format that instantiates the conceptual model. Our project has been watching recent work to represent the FRBR-based Resource Description and Access (RDA) element vocabulary in RDF; however, due to the fact that this work represents RDA data rather than FRBR data directly, and that much metadata work in libraries currently (though perhaps not permanently) operates in an XML rather than an RDF environment, we concluded an XML-based format for FRBR data directly was needed at this time. We view XML conforming to these Schemas to be one possible external representation of FRBRized data, and will be exploring other representations (including RDF) in the future. We define "implementing FRBR," as the conceptual models described in the companion FRBR and FRAD reports; at this time we are not actively working on the model defined in the draft FRSAD report. Perhaps the most notable feature of the Variations/FRBR XML Schemas is their existence at three "levels": frbr, which embodies faithfully only those features defined by the FRBR and FRAD reports; efrbr, which adds additional features we hope will make the data format more "useful"; and vfrbr, which both contracts and extends the FRBR and FRAD models to create a data representation optimized for the description of musical materials and we hope provides a model for other domain-specific applications of FRBR.