OLAC Collections: The Case of Serials


Successful language archives provide meaningful links between their holdings and existing scholarly resources elsewhere including language-documentation evidence, language-descriptions, and language-development materials. The Open Language Archiving Community aggregator is one community-based approach to solving the related-resources and resource-discovery challenge. Language descriptions come in many forms, including journal articles, which are published in serials. Serials are increasing in their relevance to the audiences of language archives because many language archive collections have collection descriptions which are now being published as peer-reviewed articles (Sullivant 2020; Fitzgerald 2021). This leads to interesting questions about how collection descriptions and journal articles ought to be indexed in OLAC which follows Dublin Core conventions (Bird & Simons 2003). Currently, at least four OLAC data providers submit records for journal articles, with many more data providers mentioning articles in the description fields of artifact records. Each of these data providers has a unique way of using the OLAC application profile to provide metadata about articles. This creates an inconsistent user experience in a metadata-driven website such as OLAC. We present a template for describing journals and their content, based on well established Dublin Core conventions in the field of library science (Jones W. 2001; Cole 2002; Riva 2004; Shadle 2006; Allinson 2008; Jones E. 2018). The template is designed for OLAC data contributors as they index journal- and serial-typed artifacts within their holdings. We propose that journals are analogous to collections, and that articles are analogous to items in the well-known collection/item framework used by archives (Wickett 2012). The template is inclusive of best-practice library modeling applying insights from Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records (FRBR) to OLAC records. FRBR is helpful when considering relationships between pre-prints, off-prints, and versions of record, i.e., publisher versions (Tillett 2001, 2005; Žumer et al 2010).

7 Oct, 2022 11:30
Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin, Germany


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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.