XOBIS: The XML Organic Bibliographic Information Schema

XOBIS primarily concerns information objects and their relationships. An information object (represented by a name, an identifier, optional variant name(s) and perhaps descriptive text) is best characterized by its set of formal relationships to other information objects. Such named relationships may carry attributes for type, strength, duration, etc. From the vantage of any given record identifying an information object, relationships to other information objects combine to provide context and perspective — virtual infoscape of the surrounding or linked data. Records for related information objects in turn may link to others, thus allowing the resultant structure to grow organically wherever the addition of new identities and relationships merits.

Information managed by archives, libraries and museums (mostly cataloging and authority records), as well as basic reference data (from dictionaries, directories, gazetteers, thesauri, etc.) readily fit into XOBIS's integrative structure. Ten basic categories of information, called Principal Elements, were defined. Links between each of these and to others instances of the same category provide 100 fundamental types of relationships as shown in the diagram above. The XOBIS structure is at once simple and accommodative — with no more complexity than necessary.

XOBIS in a Nutshell

This example shows how a record for a Work (in the center) has relationships to six of the Principal Elements (in bold).

Key aspects of XOBIS:

Current Application Goals and Issues

Further Information


Initially, the Medlane Project, which produced XOBIS, was started by Dick Miller in Sept. 1998, joined by Kevin Clarke in May 2000. Very much a collective effort, early participants included: Mary Buttner, Jo Wang, Randy Woelfel, Pamela Murnane, Charles Yates, Danjin Zhu, Asad Rao Khan, Maria Feng, Prisdha Dharma, Rebecca Wesley, Todd Grappone, and Ying Li, as well as various guest discussants. More recently, Joanne Banko and Cindy Zwies contribute to addressing issues in applying XOBIS in view of AACR2/RDA and MARC.


This software is available at: http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/medlane/xmlmarc.jar?download

Updated: 2012-09-26