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FRBR Groups February 6, 2008

Posted by Mia in FRBR.
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I would describe OCLC’s work clustering as a FRBR prototype; along with OCLC Identities. I’ve heard some refer to FRBR as basically no more than fancy ‘de-duping’ of records, but that is not the case. Perhaps it can be seen as such if only Group 1 entities are under consideration.

With Group 2 entities, many are already quite comfortable with authority control working in a (key,key) environment: a pointer to a pointer in a table; so I see the trajectory there as much more on target.

However: what about Group 3 entities, which no one appears to be discussing yet? Group 3 entities will have nothing to do with ‘de-duping’. If anything, Group 3 entities will be overlapping. Group 3 will have fuzzy edges. It will be the most challenging area, and probably will resist most attempts to pin it down.

Part of the problem with FRBR is that it is difficult to follow along at the high level of abstraction where most of the discussions are taking place. I applaud OCLC and LibraryLabs efforts because they are taking steps to envision the data along different lines. It doesn’t matter one whit if those prototypes are “true FRBR implementations.”

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