My recent post titled Criticisms of Mods was a response to encountering some pretty heavy criticisms of it at a recent conference. The criticism did take me by surprise, but there was at the same time a certain disconnect with a number of conference presentations that demonstrated that use of MODS was more widespread than I had realized. (I have discussed previously the Texas Digital Library’s use of MODS for its Thesis and Dissertation collection, and on another blog my own reasons for recommending its use where possible in repositories.)
I have since tried to find support for the specific criticisms without success. The technical issues seemed more strengths than weaknesses, as Jenn Riley has also helpfully explained re the name options in MODS.
My comments on the wide range of dates was meant not as a criticism but as another plus for MODS in the context of digital resources in repositories.
In support of the benefits of MODS already alluded to above, MODS elements seem particularly suited for the sorts of digital repositories I’ve been working with:
See the list of MODS terms on the LOC site and note also the following from the perspective of the data that is stored into an institutional repository for digital scholarly and other works:
three dimensional object
reformattingQuality (access, preservation, replacement)
digitalOrigin (born digital, reformatted digital, digitized microfilm, digitized other analog)
type (suggested values: hdl, doi, isbn, isrc, ismn, issn, issue number, istc, lccn, local, matrix number, music publisher, music plate, sici, uri, upc, videorecording identifier, stock number)
And to recap one of the best, given the need for repositories to distinguish preprints, postprints, date submitted, date published, etc.
Many of the above are also in MARC, but not all of them are as easy to locate in MARC as in MODS, and some MARC equivalents are really “near” equivalents, such as the different fields for rights and conditions of use and reproduction, access, etc. And url locations in MARC can take some thought to work around in cases where there locations within and beyond repositories are involved. There is no doubt MODS, created within the context of the digital world, is easier to work with.