November 19, 2006

MODS (originally posted October 18 2006)

Filed under: MODS — Neil Godfrey @ 10:23 pm

I’d love to hear from anyone in library-land who has used/heard of/rejected/embraced/toyed with MODS (metadata object description schema) as the next evolutionary step from MARC.

I asked this question more locally about a year ago when I first started seriously to inform myself about metadata and got either blank or ‘don’t touch that’ looks back then. Since then the MODS question has hit me again and I am wondering what I don’t know about it for it not to be more broadly known and used. From my reading it appears to be a brilliant alternative to MARC in the new world of things like interoperability, repositories, electronic databases…. It looks damn easy to understand (no marc tags for the uninitiated to navigate) and maps well to anything from the simplest Dublin Core to the most complex ONIX.

One negative comment I did hear was that it cannot catch all MARC data but when I wrote up a table comparing all the fields one could want in a repository I could not see any problem that way at all: the only thing it loses is the excess MARC bits and pieces that are simply not relevant to repositories and the sharing and searching of collections in the new info world. Things like the 246 indicator that codes a varying title as being a “spine” title — what’s a spine in an electronic resource anyway?
Thoughts? Would love feedback since am planning on soon applying all I’ve read about it to the real test world and seeing what happens.

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