POST: A Novice’s Intro to XSLT

In a post at the ACRL TechConnect Blog, Eric Phetteplace (California College of Arts) provides a tutorial on eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformations (XSLT). In the tutorial, Phetteplace gives his description of what XSLT is and how it can be used, and offers a step-by-step method for a MODS-to-Dublin-Core metadata transformation, including links to his complete XSLT designed for the task on GitHub.

I see mapping between metadata schemas as a subset of data wrangling, & data wrangling is one of the most common aspects of my Systems Librarian position: I take CSV reports from our student data system & map them into a weird MARC-like format for the Millennium ILS to ingest, I take course lists & turn them into a controlled vocabulary of sorts in our repository, & of course I convert our repository’s MODS into OAI DC. All of these procedures are duck-taped together with custom scripts filled with comments detailing bizarre data behaviors. XSLT is one of the few languages designed for this type of work.

Librarians looking for an introduction and working explanation of XSLT and a guided chance to experiment with their own metadata transformations will benefit from this clear and practical tutorial.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Shaherzad Ahmadi, Taylor Davis-Van Atta, Julia Glauberman, Anna Kijas, Hillary Richardson, Chelcie Rowell, Joshua Sadvari, and Amy Wickner (Editors-at-large for the week), Patrick Williams (Editor for the week), Sarah Potvin (Site Editor), Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Caro Pinto, and Roxanne Shirazi (dh+lib Review Editors).