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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is an r-ball?

An r-ball can be a:

  • RIMMF-ball: Data about a set of related entities, using local RDA in Many Metadata Formats (RIMMF) syntax.
  • RDA-ball: Data about a set of related entities, consistent with RDA.
  • RDF-ball: Data about a set of related entities using Resource Description Framework (RDF) syntax.
  • Resource-ball: Metadata for a set of related information resources.
  • Record-ball: Metadata for a single information resource.

Q: What is a raw-ball?

A raw-ball is the unedited result of merging two or more r-balls. A raw-ball will lack links between identifiers for the same entity and links between related entities, and may contain duplicate or contradictory statements. For example, the Jane-athon 1 (raw) raw-ball is a merge of the r-balls created during the first Jane-athon. A raw-ball is a type of r-ball.

Q: What is an RDF-ball?

An RDF-ball is an r-ball about a set of related entities using Resource Description Framework (RDF) syntax.

Q: What is a RIMMF-ball?

A RIMMF-ball is an r-ball about a set of related entities using local RDA in Many Metadata Formats (RIMMF) syntax.

Q: What is an ur-ball?

An ur-ball is an r-ball with a focus of the original Manifestation of a Work. For example the focus of the ur-ball for Jane Austen's Emma is the Manifestation published in 1816 in London by John Murray.

An ur-ball is a type of record-ball.

Q: What is a base r-ball?

A base r-ball is an r-ball created to support X-athons with a predetermined cluster of agent, work, expression, and manifestation data associated with the focus of the event. For example the Agatha Christie base r-ball provides RIMMF identifiers and data for the Person Agatha Christie and her alternate names, and many of her Works, with some associated Expressions and Manifestations.

For further information, see How to prepare a base r-ball.

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Q: What kinds of resources can be found in an r-ball?

An r-ball contains RDA data describing of all kinds of bibliographic and cultural heritage resources. An r-ball usually has a focus: a specific RDA Person or RDA Work entity. For example, the focus of the Jane Austen r-ball is the Person known as "Jane Austen", and the focus of the Blade Runner r-ball is the Work known as "Blade Runner". An r-ball contains data about the attributes of the entity in focus, together with relationships to other entities and their attributes and relationships, and so on.

Q: How is an r-ball created?

An r-ball is created and maintained using RIMMF (RDA in Many Metadata Formats), a free downloadable editor for data consistent with the RDA element set and RDA Registry. RIMMF can import MARC21 and RDF data and automatically create r-balls from it.

Q: Is an r-ball linked data?


An r-ball uses a data format that is local to RIMMF to identify and link metadata for specific entities. RIMMF can export r-balls in Resource Description Framework (RDF) format, the global format for linked open data and the Semantic Web. The export data file can be added to a triple store, used to generate an RDF graph, and consumed by linked data applications and services.

Q: What is a Jane-athon?

A Jane-athon is a hackathon for r-balls about Jane Austen and her works.

Q: How you pronounce "r-ball"?

"R-ball" is best pronounced with a rolling "r" as in "r-r-r-r-r-ball" to reflect its many expansions.

Good pronouncers of "r-ball" include the Scots and the French.