Basic level description:

  • Assumes no metadata have been assigned to the resource, either by the bibliographic agency or by the source
  • Is likely to include web resources harvested directly with no metadata or metadata produced by automatic processing
  • Is most appropriate to textual resources of relatively low value harvested from the web and is not appropriate for graphic or other non-textual resources
  • May be enhanced over time if it is to be incorporated into a national bibliography
  • Is the most economical for the NBA to create, but the most expensive for the agency to upgrade

Resource discovery is entirely dependent on natural language searching with results returned corresponding to the query terms used. In a standard web interface results will be ranked for display and this approach is most effective when the resource being sought is readily distinguished, (e.g. by its terminology), or when the user has a general information requirement that may be satisfied from a range of similar resources.

Provision of resource discovery at basic level is achieved by transferring costs to the end user who will not be able to navigate to related resources other than by native links present. Huge result lists may however make it difficult to refine results sufficiently to select a specific resource.

The FRBR Basic Level record:

  • Is basic in name only and is actually sophisticated metadata which satisfies requirements necessary to support the user tasks: find, identify, select and obtain defined by FRBR as fundamental to resource discovery.
  • Specifies relationships between the resource described and other entities. The identification and description of such relationships support subsidiary functions such as exploration and database clustering.
  • Is expensive to produce and extending use of such records to match increased output of traditional and electronic media would be a challenge for most NBAs.
  • Is rooted in traditional concepts of bibliographic control. If these concepts are still valid in the digital age the library community must find ways to streamline the processes required to produce this level of metadata more efficiently.