PBCore subject and pbcoreSubjectAuthorityUsed: Adding subject authorities

Written by Jack Brighton on Monday, March 16, 2009

In some ways it's great that PBCore is so agnostic about using specific subject terms and authorities, but it also makes exchanging records between systems too unpredictable. If I say the subject is Climate Change, and your system uses Global Warming, we have a problem communicating between systems.  PBCore.org doesn't even suggest any subject taxonomies, leaving users to fish for one or invent their own.

Here's a proposal to address this: Let's pick a few subject authorities as a starting point. Certain applications of PBCore may need different subject authorities and that's fine, they can be added. The list of possible subject authorities doesn't have to be written into the standard, but a few suggestions might help form usage patterns, preferences, and perhaps eventually best practices for certain types of content.

For radio news stories, for example, we might use the NPR All Topics list: http://api.npr.org/list?id=3002. I want to use this to pull in related content from the NPR API, so if I tag my content using terms from the NPR All Topics list, I can build an automated query based on those topics.  More on that soon....



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