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Re: notes at contepts vs notes at terms

From: Ron Davies <ron@rondavies.be>
Date: Tue, 01 Nov 2005 18:16:32 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: Mark van Assem <mark@cs.vu.nl>
Cc: sellenwright@gmail.com,public-esw-thes@w3.org
Hi Mark,

Oh there are hundreds of examples. But because I don't work with a 
thesaurus directly they are harder to dig up and it took me ten minutes to 
find these...  ;-)

Scientific research
USE Research
Recherche scientifique
EM Recherche

Decorative arts
USE Fine arts
Arts décoratifs
EM Beaux arts

Medical costs
USE Health expenditure
Coûts médicaux
EM Dépenses de santé

Poultry rearing
USE Aviculture
Elevage de volaille
EMP Aviculture

I hope that helps give you the idea. Monique Bonnichon (once responsible 
for Agrovoc) used to refer to single non-descriptors, i.e. non-descriptors 
that DIDN'T have correspondences in other languages,  as "lonely terms" 
because they had no companions in other languages to keep them company. 
It's an image I've never been able to get out of my head.

As for Sue Ellen's comment, I don't have a lot of experience with 
terminology applications, but I've never seen a terminology database that 
used this kind of approach. But again, terminology is a different type of 


At 16:41 1/11/2005, Mark van Assem wrote:
>Hi Ron, Sue,
>>Frequently in multilingual thesauri, we want to capture a relationship of 
>>equivalence between different tokens used as altLabels in different 
>>languages. This feature is frequently used in multilingual thesauri such 
>>as the OECD Macrothesaurus, the ILO Thesaurus or Agrivoc (there are 
>>undoubtedly others, but these are the ones that I know about). In
>Could you give some concrete examples from these thesauri?
>>I'm hoping that some of the proposals being put forward for accommodating 
>>notes on altLabel tokens will also be able to accommodate this 
>>multilingual requirement.
>Sue also refers to a future terminological extension of SKOS. I think it 
>might be possible to make the SKOS Core a little bit more complex (by 
>introducing a class Label or Token as range for alt/prefLabel) that allows 
>extension, while in the current design (literals as range for 
>alt/prefLabel) this would be much more difficult to accomodate.
>P.S. sorry for my sloppy wording by using "term"; so deep into this 
>community-of-practice that I thought it was the right word to use.
>>[1] Sorry if this use of the word concept offends but I don't know what 
>>other word to use here.
>>At 12:29 1/11/2005, Mark van Assem wrote:
>>>Hi Alistair,
>>>I'm leaving the "use cases" that I wrote about for later, in this post I 
>>>to summarize what I think Sue Ellen Wright, Bernard Vatant, Phil 
>>>Carlisle and Stella Dextre Clark have been saying (please correct me if 
>>>I'm wrong!) [1,2,3,4,5]. I'm hoping Sue and Stella can find time to 
>>>provide some more examples.
>>>About the word "term": I agree that it is overloaded. Should I call "the 
>>>thing in the range of the skos:prefLabel and skos:altLabel properties" a 
>>>Label or a Token?
>>>If a class e.g. Label is introduced instead of the literal currently 
>>>defined as the range of skos:prefLabel and skos:altLabel, additional 
>>>information can be attached to Labels. The categories of information 
>>>that can be attached to instances of a class Label or Token are 
>>>(summarizing other people's posts):
>>>- scope notes for terms, also referring to other terms to use [4]
>>>- lexical information about the term [2,5]
>>>- scope of usage of the lexical term [5]
>>>- etymological, register-related, standardization
>>>related [2] (I hope Sue can find time to clarify this further)
>>>(what follows is not summarizing [1-5])
>>>Furthermore, some examples from MeSH [6]:
>>>- TermUI (local identifier)
>>>- date created
>>>- source thesaurus (MeSH groups different thesauri into one)
>>>- abbreviation
>>>which mostly fall under a category "editorial information". I also 
>>>remember someone posting that some thesauri attach different definitions 
>>>to different terms.
>>>A class Label would make it possible to extend the SKOS schema for 
>>>categories of information (attached to Label) we can't foresee right now.
>>>You provide an alternative way to attach notes to labels [7]:
>>>ex:conceptA a skos:Concept;
>>>    skos:prefLabel 'Animals';
>>>    skos:altLabel 'Fauna';
>>>    skos:editorialNote [
>>>      skos:onLbl 'Fauna';
>>>      rdf:value 'Check with Mr.X. whether to keep "Fauna".';
>>>    ];
>>>I think this is a solution, but in principle this method could be used 
>>>everywhere you normally use a class to group information about an 
>>>entity. I think the more usual way to do this in RDF or OWL is introduce 
>>>a class. Also, this is harder to maintain (changing skos:altLabel 
>>>'Fauna' without changing skos:onLbl 'Fauna' leads to errors).
>>>Of course we can choose not to support this kind of information attached 
>>>to terms, but then we should say so explicitly.
>>>[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-esw-thes/2005Oct/0119
>>>[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-esw-thes/2005Oct/0109.html
>>>[4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-esw-thes/2005Aug/0019
>>>[6] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/xml2006sample.txt
>>>  Mark F.J. van Assem - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
>>>        mark@cs.vu.nl - http://www.cs.vu.nl/~mark
>  Mark F.J. van Assem - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
>        mark@cs.vu.nl - http://www.cs.vu.nl/~mark
Received on Tuesday, 1 November 2005 17:17:04 UTC

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