Originally Posted to the Task Force Group Blog By Catherine Busselen, Saturday, December 13, 2014
The MARC to BIBFRAME Transformation and Comparison Services are online tools that give us the ability to evaluate MARC Bibliographic data in the BIBFRAME model. Simply put, the Comparison Service allows us to compare a MARC record to a BIBFRAME presentation of that record while the Transformation Service provides the ability to submit one or more MARCXML records and view and search them as BIBFRAME records in Exhibit mode. The services are available online, however, the transformation software underlying these tools is also available for download. It is important to note here that while the services can be used now, they are still under development. Additionally, there is currently a lag time between updates to the BIBFRAME vocabulary and the changes made to the transformation tool code to incorporate the updated vocabulary.
The MARC BIBFRAME Comparison Service has a simple and intuitive interface. In order to run the comparison, you will need a Library of Congress BIBID, which is found in the MARC 001 field of an LC bibliographic record. You enter the BIBID into the search box and click on the “Run Comparison” button. If you enter an invalid BIBID or a BIBID for a record not included in the source database, the message “Record not found. Try another” will appear along with a new search box. A successful result will display two tabs, one for the MARC record and one for the BIBFRAME record.
The comparison is useful to get a sense of what a BIBFRAME record might look like and to see the existing BIBFRAME vocabulary in context, as well as to identify where the gaps in the MARC to BIBFRAME mapping exist. Currently, the BIBFRAME record that displays is not downloadable, though one could potentially copy the record and paste it into a text editor.
As stated above, the tool is still under development and is likely to become more powerful as the testing and implementation of BIBFRAME progresses. Detailed documentation on how to use the tool is lacking. At this early stage, you will note that only LC records can be accommodated in the comparison. You will also find that not all LC records are able to be found. Through some initial experimentation with the comparison tool, it appears that the “Record not found. Try another” response generally occurs with records added the LC catalog in 2010 and later.
The MARC BIBFRAME Transformation Service has a simple interface and intuitive but assumes the user has access to a MARCXML file. Unlike the Comparison Service, it is not limited to using Library of Congress records. You may submit a link to a MARCXML file via the External URL File Transformation tab or by pasting the full MARCXML file into the Paste-in MARCXML Transformation tab. Those with little experience with MARCXML or access to tools for grabbing MARCXML records may find it helpful to use this tool with Library of Congress MARC records. Simple copy a record’s permalink, paste it into the External URL File Transformation box and add /marcxml to the filename then click on Submit URL. A successful transformation will lead you to a page with a link to your BIBFRAME model representation and a warning that you should copy the link for your future use and that the data will be deleted periodically. Error messages will appear if the transformation fails. You may transform a single MARCXML record or a set of records.
The result currently displays a primary BIBFRAME Work record, and any related Work records, linked to BIBFRAME Instance records. Related names and subjects are treated as BIBFRAME Authorities that appear as text strings and, in some cases, link to ID.loc.gov. Sorting options are available and a search box as well as facets for Creator, Subject and Carrier Type appear in a left-hand navigation column to allow for navigating through the dataset. The entire set of data may be downloaded as MARC/XML, BIBFRAME RDF/XML or Exhibit JSON. Additionally, Work records may be generated in BibTeX, HTML Table, Exhibit JSON, RDF/XML, Semantic wikitext, Tab Separated Values or Generated HTML and copied to a clipboard. In addition to submitting your own MARCXML datasets, there are demonstration datasets available from the BIBFRAME Implementation & Testing site.
As stated above, the tool is still under development as is the BIBFRAME vocabulary so there are some limitations of the Transformation Service. Documentation and instructions on how to use the tool are lacking as are regular updates on the changes being made every few weeks. The transformation is still very lossy so the first few results that you look at may leave you thinking that the transformation did not work. Rest assured, when there is an error you will get a message that the transformation was not successful. The error messages, however, do not offer a great deal of detail on what has caused the error.