June 5, 2007


  1. What would you say are the pros and cons of using RELS-EXT versus dc:type for the set specification?

    Comment by Katie Blake — July 10, 2007 @ 6:01 am

  2. My comment about the Rels-Ext datastream as an option for creating sets was added for sake of completion. I would not use it for all the reasons normally raised against Collections in a repository — since in the Vital repository it is the Rels-Ext datastream that defines a Collection.

    The Rels-Ext datastream contains rdf relationships for a parent-child collection. It is the rdf relationship that is required for Sets.

    But the OAI module in fedora takes the dc.type from the metadata and puts it in an rdf relationship to create the Set, without any need for a collection relationship.

    Some may think the Rels-Ext in Vital is necessary for Set creation because it is a container for the rdf relationship. But this is not the only way the necessary rdf relationship can be created for Sets. Hence no need for collections.

    The only reason I have even contemplated using Sets at all was to meet the requirements of the Australasian Digital Thesis program. Certain types of theses need to be drawn out of the repository for ADT harvesting, so creating a unique dc:type for ADT seemed the simplest solution — especially given the lack of any other distinctive metadata for many relevant records. Only editors/administrators very often know which doctoral thesis qualifies for ADT and which one doesn’t. So let an editor or depositor enter “ADT” or similar in a new dc:type field — and let ADT know where to fish for it. Simple. No need for any Vital collections or Rels-Ext datastreams (with complex relationships of uncertain future?) at all.

    Beyond that, I don’t know of any reason why metadata itself can’t be used for any other type of selective searching or manipulation of records. A specialist collection, when desirable, within a library can be taken care of with a single MARC field. Is there any reason a repository can’t do it the same way?

    Comment by neilgodfrey — July 11, 2007 @ 3:08 am

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