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use of skos:inScheme and rdf:type in SKOS modeling

From: Ed Summers <ehs@pobox.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 11:43:31 -0500
Message-ID: <f032cc060901290843q34ce4d4fjac0ae1dc887e6649@mail.gmail.com>
To: SWD Working Group <public-swd-wg@w3.org>, "public-esw-thes@w3.org" <public-esw-thes@w3.org>
Cc: Barbara B Tillett <btil@loc.gov>, Clay Redding <cred@loc.gov>

Hi All,

I am trying to solicit some responses to a particular SKOS modeling
question I have. I apologize in advance if similar questions have come
up and been answered before.

Some initial work [1] has been done to examine how the Library of
Congress Subject Headings [2] can be represented as SKOS. Since the
Répertoire d'autorité-matière encyclopédique et alphabétique
unifiéshares (RAMEAU) [3] shares some lineage with LCSH, it is hoped
that this effort could also inform a SKOS representation of RAMEAU as
well.

The LCSH vocabulary has different types of concepts within it:
topical, geographic, chronological, personal names, corporate names
... to name a few. It is anticipated that use cases within the library
community will require applications to be able to distinguish between
the types of concepts. There's been some private discussion about the
best way to use SKOS to achieve this granularity. The thought was that
perhaps it would be better to have that discussion in the open.

Solution A is to group them into sub concept schemes using
skos:inScheme, while also keeping the concepts part of the larger LCSH
concept scheme:

 lcsh:sh85124200 a skos:Concept ;
   skos:prefLabel "Sociology"@en ;
   skos:inScheme lcsh:topicConceptScheme ;
   skos:inScheme lcsh:conceptScheme .

 lcsh:sh85056381 a skos:Concept ;
   skos:prefLabel "Grand Canyon (Ariz.)" ;
   skos:inScheme lcsh:geographicConceptScheme ;
   skos:inScheme lcsh:conceptScheme .

Solution B is to create extensions of skos:Concept such that:

 lcsh:TopicalConcept rdfs:subClassOf skos:Concept .
 lcsh:GeographicConcept rdfs:subClassOf skos:Concept .

 lcsh:sh85124200 a lcsh:TopicalConcept ;
   skos:prefLabel "Sociology"@en ;
   skos:inScheme lcsh:conceptScheme .

 lcsh:sh85056381 a lcsh:GeographicConcept ;
   skos:prefLabel "Grand Canyon (Ariz.)" ;
   skos:inScheme lcsh:conceptScheme .

The discussion so far has centered around two issues.

1. A may result in better tool support since it does not require inferencing
2. B uses rdfs:type instead of skos:inScheme to indicate the type of a
concept...which fits in better with RDF as it is deployed on the web.

Perhaps there are more arguments in favor or against? One counter
argument to 1 is that serializations of B could include asserted
triples for tool convenience.

 lcsh:sh85056381 a lcsh:GeographicConcept, skos:Concept ;
   skos:prefLabel "Grand Canyon (Ariz.)" ;
   skos:inScheme lcsh:conceptScheme .

If you have a particular opinion about this your feedback would be most welcome.

//Ed

[1] http://dcpapers.dublincore.org/ojs/pubs/article/view/916
[2] http://www.loc.gov/aba/cataloging/subject/
[3] http://rameau.bnf.fr/
Received on Thursday, 29 January 2009 16:44:07 GMT

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