IAFA templates: a user's comment

Thomas Krichel <ecs1tk@surrey.ac.uk> Tue, 21 March 1995 08:07 UTC

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Subject: IAFA templates: a user's comment
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Date: Tue, 21 Mar 1995 06:45:06 +0000 (GMT)
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From: Thomas Krichel <ecs1tk@surrey.ac.uk>
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  Hi,

  I would like to use the IAFA format for a catalogue with
  Economics working papers on the internet that I am putting
  together for a project called WoPEc. The purpose of
  WoPEc is to bring together indexing information on a
  common place and format so that all papers can be queried
  together. Up until now, I used my own format for this task.
  I would now like to rewrite the information in the IAFA format.

  I have been looking into the IAFA templates and I have
  identified the following issues, one large, and 3 small ones.

*** 1

  It is not clear what the support is for muliple authors. Although it
  is said: 

> In those cases where multiple instances of a cluster have to
> be defined (for example, to describe multiple authors of a book), then
> "variant" syntax applies. See section 3.2 "Variant fields".

  There is a section on variant fields (not 3.2 btw), but the information given
  refers to variant of the same documents. Am I right that under
  the current draft, multiple authors will be treated as the
  following example suggests:

  Title: CIA and KGB compared
  Author-Name-v1: Joe Cowboy
  Author-Name-v2: Leonid Rostrywizkdgt

  I think it is improper to use variant in that way, because
  although Joe Cowboy and Leonid Rostrywizkdgt are variants
  of the homo sapiens, they should rather be considered a 
  part of the author group. To explain it with an example
  if I hold a PostScript variant of a document
  rather then a Portable Document Format version, I still
  hold the same document can comprehend its intellectual
  content. But if I think that Leonid Rostrywizkdgt was 
  the author of the document, then I would neglect the important
  role of Joe Cowboy.

  Another problem with the current version of the IAFA templates
  is that there seems to be no provision for a document to be
  contained in several parts. For example it occurs that authors
  put in one PostScript file, but the graph in  a gif. Of course
  they should not do it, but they do and I think we need to 
  take account of that. Again, both the PostScript and the
  gif are part of the same resource, one without the other
  would not be the complete resource. 

  To solve this problem, I suggest to introduce part information
  alongside variant information. Part information should be signaled
  with -p<number>. I would then rewrite my example as:

  Title: CIA and KGB compared
  Author-p1-Name: Joe Cowboy
  Author-p2-Name: Leonid Rostrywizkdgt

  Part and variant info can be used together. For example:

  URL-v0: ftp://highgate.london.uk/manifest.ps
  URL-v1-p1: ftp://highgate.london.uk/manifest.txt
  URL-v1-p2: ftp://highgate.london.uk/manifest.gif

  where manifest.ps would contain the contents of the gif, or

  URL-v0-p1: ftp://highgate.london.uk/manifest.nroff
  URL-v0-p2: ftp://highgate.london.uk/manifest.gif
  URL-v1-p1: ftp://highgate.london.uk/manifest.txt
  URL-v1-p2: ftp://highgate.london.uk/manifest.gif

  where the same gif would complement both the ps and nroff and
  the ascii version of the document. On the other hand, if our
  record refers to "War and Peace", we can imagine it to be
  avaiable in several chapters, each of the chapters in a different
  file. In that case, 

  Title: War and Peace
  Format-v0:   PostScript
  URL-v0-p1:   ftp://arch.com/book/wap/war-and-peace-chapter1.english.ps
  URI-v0-p2:   ftp://arch.com/book/wap/war-and-peace-chapter2.english.ps

  I would suggest to integrate this part syntax for the next update
  of the templates. 

*** 2 

  AFAICS, there is no provision for the subject codes in the current 
  version. Subject codes are however quite important in some disciplines.
  In Economics, the Journal of Economics Literature classification
  scheme is widely used. I would suggest to introduce a 

  Subject-Classifcation:

  field. That would allow me the write

  Subject-Classification: JEL A34, B7

*** 3

  The word "abstract" would be better suited when we describe documents,
  rather then talking about "description". I would suggest to allow
  the word abstract as a synonym for description otherwise we will
  have a hard time convincing people to give up on the word abstract.

*** 4

  Price information should also be allowed for organisations
  that would wish to make information available that has no
  URL, but can be ordered form the postal address. I would need
  that field for another project I am involved in that collects
  info on printed papers. 


  Thomas Krichel                              mailto::T.Krichel@surrey.ac.uk
                                    http://netec.mcc.ac.uk/~lgecstk/ToK.html