RDA Vocabularies release v2.5.2

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We just released v2.5.2 of the RDA Vocabularies on GitHub.

This release includes minor amendments to property labels and definitions that will be included in the October 2016 release of RDA Toolkit. The RDA Steering Committee also took advantage of the development of the RDA Reference data maintenance and flow infrastructure to move element scope information embedded in the RDA instructions to scope notes for the corresponding properties. The Toolkit Glossary data is now imported from the RDA Vocabularies, so the scope information continues to be available; it is incorporated in the instructions using XML applied to the Glossary. This is intended to separate semantic data pertaining to the element from data associated with methodologies for determining instance values of the element. We think it will also benefit semantic linked data applications based on RDA in RDF by providing more informative scope notes independent of the Toolkit.

The new release of RDA Vocabularies includes new translations of some of the RDA value vocabularies. The RDA Development Team and RSC Translations Working Group have been working on integrating translations processes and data with the RDA Reference infrastructure. Version control is one of the major issues. We want to encourage translations of RDA Reference in the RDA Vocabularies as part of RDA’s internationalization goals, and the Open Metadata Registry already provides many of the features to support a wide range of translation environments. These include status control of individual entries in vocabularies and separate maintenance of each element set and value vocabulary. We have accepted partial translations of single vocabularies and complete translations of some, but not all, value vocabularies. Some OMR translations have been derived from full translations of the Toolkit, and others have been made using the OMR’s csv export/import facilities. At the same time there have been changes to the original English labels, definitions, and scope notes. As a result many of the translations are not exact, but they do not bend the semantics of the element or concept and are good enough for use in applications like the RDA Registry and RIMMF. We hope that version control indicating the date and scope of a translation, and which version of RDA Reference was translated, will improve support for applications using multilingual or non-English RDA data. This work is ongoing.

Translators and developers who wish to add new RDA translations of RDA Reference to the OMR should contact me at rscchair@rdatoolkit.org

The RDA Content Type value vocabulary has the largest number of translations: Chinese, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, and Spanish. Arabic is also available in the OMR, but was added after the release of v2.5.2 of the RDA Vocabularies. To use the translations in RIMMF, download RIMMF and select Options > Setup > Set language and labels, and then Update language data. Existing r-ball data containing, say, values for content type will be displayed in the selected language if available.

v2.5.2 also includes links from elements to sub-properties for object and datatype properties. This is part of a project by the RDA Development Team to develop an RDF framework for RDA instructions allowing plain and typed literals and URIs to be the object values of relationship elements. The framework is also intended to support RDA application profiles and local vocabularies that are compatible with RDA. Further information will be available with the next release of RDA Vocabularies, expected during the next few weeks.

Gordon Dunsire

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