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[PORT] thesauri in open world applications

From: Miles, AJ (Alistair) <A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2004 19:10:53 -0000
Message-ID: <350DC7048372D31197F200902773DF4C05E50D62@exchange11.rl.ac.uk>
To: "'public-swbp-wg@w3.org'" <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>

Here's some prose in response to 

ACTION: Alistair make explicit in skos core doc the fact that
      you're trying to deal with potential for multiple thesauri using the
      same terms, overlap etc., different from paper publishing world


In controlled vocabularies, a set of 'terms' are published, and the use of
each of those terms is constrained within a specific, single meaning.  

Often, the specific meaning of a term in the context of a controlled
vocabulary is different from the meaning usually associated with that term
in the context of normal discourse.

This poses problems when controlled vocabularies are used in a global
context, such as the semantic web.  Two vocabularies may use the same term
to mean different things.

For example, the term 'laboratory test' from the AOD (see
<http://etoh.niaaa.nih.gov/AODVol1/aodhqha.htm#HF>) has quite a different
scope to the term 'laboratory tests' from the CAB (see

For example, the term 'health care' from the CAB has the scope note 'health
care administration and management; for health care facilities and manpower
use health services or one of its narrower terms', and is clearly narrower
in scope than the term 'health care' from the GCL

Therefore, in order to use controlled vocabularies in a global context,
there must be some means by which *the concept* associated with a term from
a controlled vocabulary can be uniquely identified.

Alistair Miles
Research Associate
CCLRC - Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Building R1 Room 1.60
Fermi Avenue
Oxfordshire OX11 0QX
United Kingdom
Email:        a.j.miles@rl.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1235 445440
Received on Thursday, 18 November 2004 19:11:28 UTC

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