In 2005, IFLA started “Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Records (FRSAR)” as a working group in the FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) family. The group was supposed to focus on subject authority data (information about subjects from authority files) and its use in a wide range of applications, the semantics, structures and interoperability issues of such data, independent from any implementation or specific context.
In June this year, the FRSAR working group published a second draft of a “Conceptual Model” . It focuses on general functional requirements and the potential of subject authority data for broad sharing and use.
This draft was open for comments and review until the end of July in order for discussions by the Working Group during the IFLA 2009 conference in mid-August in Milan. Further comments can be sent to email@example.com.
The core of the model on the aboutness of works is the following:
work <<has as subject/is subject of>> thema <<has appellation/is appellation of>> nomen
The relationships between the three entities are many-to-many relationships and bi-directional. However, in a given controlled vocabulary and within a domain, a nomen should be an appellation of only one thema.
“Thema” is defined as “any entity that can be subject of a work”. Thema includes any of the entities which are originally defined by FRBR: work, expression, manifestation, item; person, corporate body; concept, object, event, place and all other subjects “work” might have.
The entity “Nomen” and the relationships ‘Thema has appellation Nomen/ Nomen is appellation of Thema’ are new proposals of the working group. “Nomen” is any sign or sequence of signs (alphanumeric characters, symbols etc.) by which a “Thema” is known, referred to or addressed as.
Two co-chairs of the working group, Marcia Zeng and Maja Zumer, compare the FRSAR model in a paper presented at IFLA 2009  with related models (new thesauri standards BS8723 and ISO 25964-1; SKOS, OWL and the DCMI Abstract Model). They conclude that these models match rather well with the FRASAR conceptual model, and thus, that subject authority data that are modeled according to FRSAD and encoded in SKOS or OWL will have a high potential of interoperability and contribute to linked data and the semantic web.
 IFLA (2009). Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD). A Conceptual Model. IFLA Working Group on FRSAR. 2nd draft 2009-06-10.http://nkos.slis.kent.edu/FRSAR/report090623.pdf
 Zeng, Marcia and Zumer, Maja (2009). Introducing FRSAD and mapping it with SKOS and other models. 75th IFLA General Conference, Papers, 23-27 August 2009, Milan, Italy. Available in 5 languages.