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DC-SCHOLAR  January 2009

DC-SCHOLAR January 2009

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Subject:

SWAP/FRBR and Scribd/SlideShare/YouTube embedded/embeddable resources

From:

Pete Johnston <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

DCMI Scholarly Communications Community <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 26 Jan 2009 18:30:23 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

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A few thoughts based mostly on my thinking about how to describe
scholarly works with versions on YouTube using SWAP (or a similar
FRBR-based profile)....

One of the requirements SWAP sought to address was that of providing an
identifier for (and reliable access to) the full text content of an
eprint

http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/repositories/digirep/index/Functional_Requirement
s#Identifying_the_full-text

And the way SWAP deals with this is to say that the URI of the FRBR
Item/SWAP Copy is the "download URI", for a copy of a specific format of
a specific version/translation. An HTTP GET on the Item/Copy URI returns
a representation of the Item/Copy.

The Item/Copy URI is _not_ the URI of a "splash page", which in the case
of the typical "eprint repository" is a page which describes - well,
what it describes is probably something of a moveable feast depending on
practice within an individual repository system - but it probably
describes an Expression or maybe some cluster of Expressions or maybe
even a Work and a number of Expressions, and possibly their
relationships with other resources. Anyway, the precise nature of the
repository splash page isn't my primary concern here, so I'm not going
to worry too much here about what it is a description of: the main point
here is that the Copy/Item URI is not the "splash page" URI.

Recently, I've been pondering the case of services like Scribd,
SlideShare and YouTube, and how to document their use in metadata based
on SWAP/FRBR.

For the purposes of this discussion, consider these three examples:

[1] Scribd
http://www.scribd.com/doc/3845648/JISC-Metadata-Application-Profiles-Dat
a-Models-and-Interoperability
[2] SlideShare
http://www.slideshare.net/eduservfoundation/virtual-worlds-in-education-
a-story-so-far-presentation
[3] YouTube http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=TPAO-lZ4_hU

Here the approach is typically that the service provides an HTML page
which includes:

(a) the content embedded in the page, typically as a Flash object.
(b) (in some, but not all, cases) a link to the content in one or more
other formats: a "download URI" (e.g. Scribd offers PDF, MSWord, plain
text; SlideShare offers Powerpoint; but YouTube doesn't offer me
download at all)
(c) some metadata about the content, provided by the owner/creator
(d) (in many cases, at least) some user annotations (comments, ratings
etc)
(e) (in many cases, at least) some additional metadata generated by the
system about related resources of interest
(f) one or more chunks of code which can be used to embed the content in
another HTML page

That "embed code" contains another URI, of the Flash object itself - for
the examples above, the embed code includes:

<http://d.scribd.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=3845648&access_key=key
-s59waua99g6hnvb1uy2&page=1&version=1&viewMode=>
<http://static.slideshare.net/swf/ssplayer2.swf?doc=stirling200810-12263
95821435661-8&stripped_title=virtual-worlds-in-education-a-story-so-far-
presentation>
<http://www.youtube.com/v/TPAO-lZ4_hU&hl=en&fs=1>

First, as a general point, I wondered whether the "embed code" is the
sort of data which it might be useful exposing in metadata such as that
specified by SWAP. It's a much-used part of the metadata included in the
human-readable page, and I think it's typically included in the RSS
feeds exposed by these services, so it seems to me it's the sort of data
which would be "useful" to at least some classes of application which
consume SWAP metadata. Anyway, I think this might be an area worth
considering more closely in any future revision/extension of SWAP.

Second - and I suppose this is the main question I'm interested in at
the moment - is how the use of these services maps into the SWAP/FRBR
entity model.

Based on my description of the Scribd/SlideShare/YouTube pages above, I
think they have many similarities to the "eprint repository" splash
page, particularly in those cases where they contain a link to the
actual content in some other format. And on that basis the SWAP
Item/Copy URI should be, not the URI of the Scribd/SlideShare/YouTube
page, but the "download URI" of the PDF doc, Word doc, plain text file
or Powerpoint file (each with corresponding distinct FRBR Manifestations
for each format).

And on that basis, considering the Flash rendition as just one more
format, it seems to me that there should be a distinct Manifestation and
Item/Copy with the URI of the Flash object as the Item/Copy URI. i.e.
the three URIs above would be Copy/Item URIs, exemplars of
Manifestations in Flash format. In the YouTube case, there are - for
some videos, at least - two different Flash versions (normal
quality/high quality).

One issue with this approach is that those URIs are typically not very
visible at least on the human-readable page Scribd/SlideShare/YouTube -
I found them by scanning the HTML fragment of the "embed code".

The second issue, in at least some cases, the "Terms of Use" of the
services themselves. The YouTube ToS says:

> you agree not to access User Submissions (defined below) or other
content made available on the Website (including YouTube Content, as
defined below) through any technology
> or means other than the video playback pages of the Website itself,
the YouTube Player, or such other means as YouTube may explicitly
designate for this purpose;

http://uk.youtube.com/t/terms

which, it seems to me, suggests that disseminating the URI of the Flash
resource for stand-alone use (rather than disseminating the embed code
for the YouTube player) might not be permitted without their permission.


I suppose one way around this (while maintaining the Flash object =
Copy/Item approach) might be not to record a URI for the Item (i.e. use
a blank node in RDF terms) and include something in the Item/Copy
description "saying" that it's the resource "embedded in" the specified
page. That would require an extension to the current SWAP profile, I
think, but I have the freedom to do that in the other profile I'm
working on.

An alternative approach might be to treat the Scribd/SlideShare/YouTube
page as a sort of composite Copy/Item (an exemplar of a corresponding
"composite" Manifestation). On the one hand this means citing the URI
which those services promote, but on the other, it would seem somewhat
at odds with the SWAP aim of distinguishing between the content and the
"splash page".

Any thoughts would be welcome :-)

Pete

---
Pete Johnston
Technical Researcher, Eduserv Foundation
[log in to unmask]
+44 (0)1225 474323
http://www.eduserv.org.uk/foundation/
http://efoundations.typepad.com/efoundations/

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