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RE: scope notes and definitions

From: Miles, AJ (Alistair) <A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 13:56:06 -0000
Message-ID: <F5839D944C66C049BDB45F4C1E3DF89D18DB60@exchange31.fed.cclrc.ac.uk>
To: 'Stella Dextre Clarke' <sdclarke@lukehouse.demon.co.uk>
Cc: "'public-esw-thes@w3.org'" <public-esw-thes@w3.org>

Hi Stella,

So do you think we should remove any 'formal constraints' on the usage of
skos:definition and skos:scopeNote?

Cheers,

Al. 


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stella Dextre Clarke [mailto:sdclarke@lukehouse.demon.co.uk]
> Sent: 26 January 2005 15:30
> To: 'Miles, AJ (Alistair)'
> Subject: RE: scope notes and definitions
> 
> 
> Al, 
> You may think that a thesaurus should offer no more than one 
> definition
> per concept per language, and I understand why you think it, but in
> reality some thesauri offer several. I suppose you could 
> argue that they
> are definitions of the term rather than the concept. But very 
> often they
> are all definitions of the same concept, although some are longer than
> others. In some cases they are pointers to definitions found 
> elsewhere,
> but this is not much different from spelling the definition 
> out in full.
> Just spend a little time studying the AAT, and you may get an insight
> into what they are doing and why. (The AAT is a widely respected,
> influential and well-known thesaurus)
> http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/vocabularies/aat/
> 
> Stella
> 
> *****************************************************
> Stella Dextre Clarke
> Information Consultant
> Luke House, West Hendred, Wantage, Oxon, OX12 8RR, UK
> Tel: 01235-833-298
> Fax: 01235-863-298
> SDClarke@LukeHouse.demon.co.uk
> *****************************************************
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-esw-thes-request@w3.org
> [mailto:public-esw-thes-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Miles, AJ
> (Alistair)
> Sent: 25 January 2005 10:36
> To: public-esw-thes@w3.org
> Subject: scope notes and definitions
> 
> 
> 
> 
> > I agree with Al's clarification of the difference between a 
> scope note
> 
> > and a definition. I could add that indexers and searchers 
> find scope 
> > notes particularly helpful for choosing between two or more 
> > descriptors when their scopes appear to overlap.
> > 
> > But unfortunately one cannot go on to infer that a scope note and a 
> > definition will not co-occur. I know of some scholarly 
> thesauri which 
> > give definitions from 3 or more sources (usually all differing), as 
> > well as a scope note, for a single descriptor. The key 
> point  is that 
> > the scope note is always clarifying the meaning for the retrieval 
> > purposes of the vocabulary in question, whereas the 
> definition(s) in a
> > thesaurus
> > can have other uses.
> 
> I think we are OK here, by virtue of the previous discussion of
> 'constraints'.  
> 
> I.e. A concept *should* have no more than one definition per language
> (because the more definitions you have for a concept, the less well
> specified it becomes).  And a concept *should not* have a 
> scope note in
> addition to a definition, because the information in the scope note
> should be included in the definition if the definition is to be
> 'complete'.
>   
> These two 'constraints' should be declared I think, because 
> they express
> elements of good practice.  A validation tool could throw 
> 'warnings' if
> they are violated.  However, there is of course nothing to 
> stop somebody
> publishing a concept in RDF using SKOS Core with 6 definitions and 4
> scope notes. 
> 
> So what I am saying is, we use 'constraints' to encourage 
> good practice,
> but the inherent flexibility of RDF means that SKOS Core can 
> equally be
> used in situations where people want to diverge from what we 
> consider to
> be 'good practice'. 
> 
> Does this sound OK?
> 
> Al.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> > Stella
> > 
> > *****************************************************
> > Stella Dextre Clarke
> > Information Consultant
> > Luke House, West Hendred, Wantage, Oxon, OX12 8RR, UK
> > Tel: 01235-833-298
> > Fax: 01235-863-298
> > SDClarke@LukeHouse.demon.co.uk
> > *****************************************************
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: public-esw-thes-request@w3.org 
> > [mailto:public-esw-thes-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Miles, AJ
> > (Alistair)
> > Sent: 24 January 2005 14:59
> > To: public-esw-thes@w3.org
> > Subject: RE: Comments on SKOS Core Guide & Quick Guide
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > Mark wrote:
> > > I was wondering about the difference between skos:scopeNote and
> > > skos:definition (and also editorialNote/changeNote). 
> > Thesauri in the
> > > ISO 2788 format only have a scope note (i.e. the scope 
> note is the 
> > > definition). Their difference may become clearer if an example 
> > > containing both a scope note and a definition is included. Also, 
> > > people migrating from an ISO thesaurus need to be aware that their
> > ScopeNotes
> > > should probably be migrated to skos:definition.
> > 
> > The intention is that a definition is a 'statement or formal
> > explanation
> > of the meaning of a concept' (i.e. is supposed to be a *complete*
> > explanation of the meaning of the concept) whereas a scope note is a
> > 'note that helps to clarify the meaning of a concept' (i.e. a 
> > statement
> > of what the meaning of the concept includes or does not 
> > include, but not
> > a complete explanation of the meaning of a concept).  In 
> > other words, a
> > 'scope note' says something about what is 'in or out of scope' for a
> > particular concept.  A definition is supposed to describe 
> (fully) the
> > 'scope' of a concept.
> > 
> > This means that, if a concept has a definition, it should 
> not need a 
> > scope note (i.e. the two properties should never co-occur).
> > 
> > An example of a scope note:
> > 
> > Concept [ 
> > 	preferred label: Europe 
> > 	scope note: includes Russia
> > ]
> > 
> > 
> > An example of a definition:
> > 
> > Concept [
> > 	preferred label: Europe
> > 	definition: The sixth-largest continent, extending west from the
> 
> > Dardanelles, Black Sea, and Ural Mountains. It is 
> technically a vast 
> > peninsula of the Eurasian land mass. ]
> > 
> > Does this usage seem reasonable?  A better explanation of 
> this in the 
> > guide?
> > 
> > Cheers,
> > 
> > Al.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> 
Received on Thursday, 27 January 2005 13:56:47 GMT

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