Functional Requirements: the FRBR Family of Models

Since the 1990s, IFLA has led the development of conceptual models for bibliographic data. FRBR, Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, was the first model published in 1998.

FRBR provided a “’generalized” view of the bibliographic universe .. independent of any cataloguing code or implementation …” It enabled a clearer understandling of bibliographic data that not only has informed the development of cataloguing codes, but also facilitated discussion and collaboration through an explicit modelling that transcends local differences. While not intended as a data model, FRBR influenced technological developments and implementations using bibliographic data.

The FRBR model was well-received by the global library community (FRBR Bibliography). FRBR focused particularly on bibliographic data, in the narrower sense, and IFLA moved to extend the conceptual modelling work to include authority data, developing two extensions to FRBR, one focusing on authority data and the other on subject authority data: FRAD, Functional Requirements for Authority Data, and FRSAD, Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data.

These first four models are sometimes collectively known as “the FRBR family of conceptual models”.

FRBROO began to be developed soon after the publication of FRBR. It is the object-oriented version of the three original entity-relationship models, FRBR, FRAD and FRSAD. FRBROO is better suited for the implementation of FRBR concepts in object oriented tools. It also makes explicit some concepts that were implicit in the original models, thus making it easier to move from conceptual model to real-life applications.

PRESSOO is a formal ontology designed to represent the bibliographic information about continuing resources, and more specifically about serials (journals, newspapers, magazines, etc.). PRESSOO aims to propose answers to long standing issues with the application of the FRBR family of models to serials and continuing resources.

The newest conceptual model is IFLA LRM, the IFLA Library Reference Model. IFLA LRM is a high-level conceptual reference model developed within an entity-relationship modelling framework. It is the consolidation of the separately developed conceptual models: FRBR, FRAD, FRSAD. It was developed to resolve inconsistencies between the three separate models [some information about the past reviewing process]. The result is a single, streamlined, and logically consistent model that covers all aspects of bibliographic data and that at the same time brings the modelling up-to-date with current conceptual modelling practices. IFLA LRM was designed to be used in linked data environments and to support and promote the use of bibliographic data in linked data environments.

  1. Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR), published in 1998
  2. Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD), published in 2009
  3. Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD), published in 2010
  4. Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records – Object Oriented (FRBRoo), published in 2016
  5. PRESSOO, version 1.2, published in 2016.
  6. IFLA Library Reference Model (IFLA LRM), March 2017 version, revised after world-wide review – submitted in April 2017 for formal approval; awaiting endorsement by the IFLA Professional Committee

Cataloguing, Cataloguing, FRBR, FRAD; FRSAD, FRBR LRM

Last update: 25 May 2017