OLAC Roles and MARC Relator Role Equivalents

The Open Language Archive Community currently has twenty-four different roles. Defining roles related to resource creation is a defining part of what formed identity in the OLAC community. Oral history of OLAC indicates that the list of MARC relator roles was consulted, in fact the OLAC documentation states that any MARC role can be used in an OLAC feed. However, no technological support in the OLAC aggregator manifested to support MARC relator roles. Documented history of the OLAC role vocabulary indicates some editorial evolution of the list. Valuable comments are propagated through the change history of the OLAC roles vocabulary. Of these roles identified by language scholars over twenty years ago, ten of the twenty-four are listed in the first table below. These ten are pulled out and are indicated as not being equivalent to any MARC role. Equivalence was judged on the basis of the allowed semantics via the definitions from each list. Nonequivalence was caused by three main factors. These included Name (N), which are cases where the relator term varies but the semantic concept is the same; Semantics (S), which are cases where the terms are the same but the semantics of the terms are not the same across the two lists; and the absence of a semantic equivalent (X). In four cases it was determined that the MARC list did not have equivalent terms to what appears in OLAC. In these cases it might be possible to write a suitable recommendation to the governing body of MARC suggesting and arguing for inclusion. Why is this event important? Many preservation institutions steward language resources. Not all of those institutions actually use OLAC metadata terms or the OLAC metadata schema. By defining equivalents to OLAC terms in other schemes which are more widely used, the OLAC aggregator increases the potential for the number of data providers to participate in OLAC.

OLAC Role Equivalence MARC Relator Role
consultant N Consultant to a project
recorder N Recordist
compiler S Compiler
depositor S Depositor
responder S Addressee
signer S Signer
data_inputter X
interpreter X
participant X
research_participant X

To look at the whole data set we need to either download the linked JSON file or scroll/read through the sortable table below. Included in the JSON data file are the OLAC and MARC Role terms, Linked Data URIs, Definitions, and an Equivalence column.

OLAC Role OLAC URI OLAC Definition OLAC Comment Not Equivlent MARC Relator ID MARC Relator Role MARC Definition MARC URI
annotator http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#annotator The participant produced an annotation of this or a related resource. ann Annotator A person who makes manuscript annotations on an item http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/ann
author http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#author The participant contributed original writings to the resource. aut Author A person, family, or organization responsible for creating a work that is primarily textual in content, regardless of media type (e.g., printed text, spoken word, electronic text, tactile text) or genre (e.g., poems, novels, screenplays, blogs). Use also for persons, etc., creating a new work by paraphrasing, rewriting, or adapting works by another creator such that the modification has substantially changed the nature and content of the original or changed the medium of expression http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/aut
compiler http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#compiler The participant is responsible for collecting the sub-parts of the resource together. This refers to someone who creates a single resource with multiple parts, such as a book of short stories, or a person who produces a corpus of resources, which may be archived separately. X com Compiler A person, family, or organization responsible for creating a new work (e.g., a bibliography, a directory) through the act of compilation, e.g., selecting, arranging, aggregating, and editing data, information, etc. http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/com
consultant http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#consultant The participant contributes expertise to the creation of a work. This term is commonly used by field linguists for the native speakers who work with them in describing and analyzing a language. They contribute their expertise in their native language to the resource, although their speech, sign, or writing may not appear directly in the resource. In some parts of the world the preferred term for this role is "informant". csl Consultant A person or organization relevant to a resource, who is called upon for professional advice or services in a specialized field of knowledge or training http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/csl
data_inputter http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#data_inputter The participant was responsible for entering, re-typing, and/or structuring the data contained in the resource. X Data_Inputter
depositor http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#depositor The participant was responsible for depositing the resource in an archive. X dpt Depositor A current owner of an item who deposited the item into the custody of another person, family, or organization, while still retaining ownership http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/dpt
developer http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#developer The participant developed the methodology or tools that constitute the resource, or that were used to create the resource. prg Programmer A person, family, or organization responsible for creating a computer program http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/prg
editor http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#editor The participant reviewed, corrected, and/or tested the resource. This role includes anyone whose role was editorial in nature, such as proof-readers, debuggers, testers, etc. It may overlap the Compiler role in some cases. edt Editor A person, family, or organization contributing to a resource by revising or elucidating the content, e.g., adding an introduction, notes, or other critical matter. An editor may also prepare a resource for production, publication, or distribution. For major revisions, adaptations, etc., that substantially change the nature and content of the original work, resulting in a new work, see author http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/edt
illustrator http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#illustrator The participant contributed drawings or other illustrations to the resource. ill Illustrator A person, family, or organization contributing to a resource by supplementing the primary content with drawings, diagrams, photographs, etc. If the work is primarily the artistic content created by this entity, use artist or photographer http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/ill
interpreter http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#interpreter The participant translates in real-time or explains the discourse recorded in the resource. The choice between 'interpreter' and 'translator' may depend on the dynamics of the resource creation event or process. Generally, if the participant is translating 'live'; that is, while the speaker or signer is speaking or signing, she or he should be identified as an interpreter. Also, some discourse genres include a participant who interprets or explains a performance of some kind. X Interpreter
interviewer http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#interviewer The participant conducted an interview that forms part of the resource. ivr Interviewer A person, family, or organization responsible for creating or contributing to a resource by acting as an interviewer, reporter, pollster, or some other information gathering agent http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/ivr
participant http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#participant The participant was present during the creation of the resource, but did not contribute substantially to its content. X Participant
performer http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#performer The participant performed some portion of a recorded, filmed, or transcribed resource. It is recommended that this term be used only for creative participants whose role is not better indicated by a more specific term, such as 'speaker', 'signer', or 'singer'. prf Performer A person contributing to a resource by performing music, acting, dancing, speaking, etc., often in a musical or dramatic presentation, etc. If specific codes are used, [prf] is used for a person whose principal skill is not known or specified http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/prf
photographer http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#photographer The participant took the photograph, or shot the film, that appears in or constitutes the resource. pht Photographer A person, family, or organization responsible for creating a photographic work http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/pht
recorder http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#recorder The participant operated the recording machinery used to create the resource. rcd Recordist A person or organization who uses a recording device to capture sounds and/or video during a recording session, including field recordings of natural sounds, folkloric events, music, etc. http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/rcd
researcher http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#researcher The resource was created as part of the participant's research, or the research presents interim or final results from the participant's research. res Researcher A person or organization responsible for performing research http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/res
research_participant http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#research_participant The participant acted as a research subject or responded to a questionnaire, the results of which study form the basis of the resource. X Research_Participant
responder http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#responder The participant was an interlocutor in some sort of discourse event. This person's voice can be heard (or their words can be read) in the resource, typically saying the language-appropriate equivalent of "uh-huh", "amen", "you don't say", etc. This role is sometimes referred to as a "yes-sayer", "backchanneler, or "co-conversant". X rcp Addressee A person, family, or organization to whom the correspondence in a work is addressed http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/rcp
signer http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#signer The participant was a principal signer in a resource that consists of a recording, a film, or a transcription of a recorded resource. Signers are those whose gestures predominate in a recorded or filmed resource. (This resource may be a transcription of that recording.) X sgn Signer A person whose signature appears without a presentation or other statement indicative of provenance. When there is a presentation statement, use Inscriber [ins]. http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/sgn
singer http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#singer The participant sang, either individually or as part of a group, in a resource that consists of a recording, a film, or a transcription of a recorded resource. sng Singer A performer contributing to a resource by using his/her/their voice, with or without instrumental accompaniment, to produce music. A singer's performance may or may not include actual words http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/sng
speaker http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#speaker The participant was a principal speaker in a resource that consists of a recording, a film, or a transcription of a recorded resource. Speakers are those whose voices predominate in a recorded or filmed resource. (This resource may be a transcription of that recording.) spk Speaker A performer contributing to a resource by speaking words, such as a lecture, speech, etc. http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/spk
sponsor http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#sponsor The participant contributed financial support to the creation of the resource. spn Sponsor A person, family, or organization sponsoring some aspect of a resource, e.g., funding research, sponsoring an event http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/spn
transcriber http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#transcriber The participant produced a transcription of this or a related resource. trc Transcriber A person, family, or organization contributing to a resource by changing it from one system of notation to another. For a work transcribed for a different instrument or performing group, see Arranger [arr]. For makers of pen-facsimiles, use Facsimilist [fac] http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/trc
translator http://www.language-archives.org/REC/role.html#translator The participant produced a translation of this or a related resource. trl Translator A person or organization who renders a text from one language into another, or from an older form of a language into the modern form http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/trl
csp Consultant to a project A person or organization relevant to a resource, who is engaged specifically to provide an intellectual overview of a strategic or operational task and by analysis, specification, or instruction, to create or propose a cost-effective course of action or solution http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/csp
Hugh Paterson III
Hugh Paterson III
Collaborative Scholar

I specialize in bespoke research at the intersection of Linguistics, Law, Languages, and Technology; specifically utility and life-cycle management for information products in these spaces.