MARC spec as string

MARC spec as string is a specification for a MARC 21 field specification (short MARC spec) encoded as string. A MARC spec defines the reference to a data set derived from a MARC 21 record. A MARC spec normally consits of the field tag, a character position or range or subfield tags and indicators. Since there are a variety of mapping tools using MARC specifications in different encodings and forms, I thought it is time to standardize the form of a MARC spec encoded as string.

Therefor I’ve written a proposal for a MARC 21 spec as string specification. You can find it at

Comments are welcome at

What is a MARC spec as string good for?

The specification aims for the possibility of exchanging MARC mappings. More specific it aims for exchange of MARC mappings via RDF. A MARC spec as string can be easily described by RDF through literals or URIs.

Here is an imaginary example on how a MARC mapping could be described by RDF:

$mapping ex:maps [ a ex:MappingRule ; ex:from [ ex:form <> ; rdf:value "245a"^^ex:MarcSpec ] ; ex:to <> ] .

Or maybe more easy

$mapping ex:maps [ a ex:MappingRule ; ex:from <> ; ex:to <> ] .

Usage of MARC spec as string

Besides the specification I’ve written a PHP MARC spec as string parser and validator. It’s available at Github. This parser is now included in easyM2R. With the use of MARC spec as string in the mapping configuration of easyM2R it makes configuring more easy and more powerful.

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