I have concerns about whether we are asking the right questions. Yes it is important to ask does bibliographic metadata have value outside of libraries. However, it may be more important to ask, is it important to have our library resources discoverable where our patrons are searching?
At the moment, many librarians have already posited that library resources are not discoverable where patrons are searching, which is increasingly via Google services, and in many cases SciHub. For places like Penn State with $13 million dollar library budget this may not be an issue, but for many scholars at small universities, especially in developing countries, the university nor the scholar may be able to afford the subscription for the journal which published a scholar’s article. In contrast to library resource silos, the discoverability of paid and open access content is incredibly easy to discover in the megadata world. Hence, resisting patron trends in discovery may be a losing battle; especially when we are content in saying that we have the best resource silo.
The best research silo is all about perspective. Researchers don’t need our authority record indexes to discover all of the resources written by a particular author. Yes it is helpful for author disambiguation, but there are numerous controlled environments out there in the “megadata” world that are not library controlled environments. Libraries, I would argue, do not have a monopoly on building fast, efficient, and accurate data retrieval systems. It seems that for many patrons, in a non-library discovery layer, good enough is sufficient.
At any rate, I hope we as a community considering Bibframe, continue to ask the right questions, questions which are patron-centric, rather than data format specific. If the answer to the question, “Should we have out data discoverable where patrons are searching?” is yes, then certainly Bibframe, schema,org, or any variety of linked data triples are tools which we should be exploring. We should be exploring these formats even if we know that it will provide a less than optimal information seeking experience. If we truly want an accurate information seeking experience, perhaps we should all still be using Dialog.