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Re: [dxwg] Range of dct:type (#1009)

From: Karen Coyle via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2019 19:27:58 +0000
To: public-dxwg-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <issue_comment.created-512954307-1563478077-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Unfortunately I think it is even more complex, although it may be a complexity that isn't significant for all communities.

1. dct:Type vocabulary describes a created work expression form: text, sound recording, moving image. 
1. dct:format describes the physical or digital carrier for the expression.
1. "genre" (in metadata that I am familiar with) speaks to a category or role of the content, such as "review article" or "executive summary" or "statistical analysis". 
1. dcat:theme and dct:subject seem to pretty clearly cover the "aboutness" aspect.

It's fairly common for communities to mix together terms from type, format and genre, often because they aren't clear on how the differences are significant for their data. At the same time, it is hard enough to explain to data creators what the differences between these are and users rarely are cognizant of them. Even where data has been created with distinct terms it has at times been necessary to combine them for end-user searching because users don't understand them.

As for @wood-chris's questions:

1. As Makx points out, dct:Type vocabulary and dcat:theme cover very different aspects of a resource. If you have a type of "moving picture" (aka: a film) that is quite different from a resource (e.g. a book) that is about moving pictures. Ideally these two concepts would have different identifiers. 
1. Sadly, dct:type includes "type or genre" in its definition, so it fails to clarify that difference. Thinking in this area as evolved since the DC Terms were defined.
1. There are richer type or genre vocabularies if you wish to use them, but be beware of mixes of expression type and genre - or at least be careful what you do with them. There is the [genre list](http://www.loc.gov/standards/valuelist/marcgt.html) used by libraries which now has a [SKOS version ](http://id.loc.gov/authorities/genreForms.html)(e.g. search on "[book](http://id.loc.gov/search/?q=book&q=cs%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fid.loc.gov%2Fauthorities%2FgenreForms)"). But note that even this _list_ combines form and genre because they had been combined in the past; the input rules assign these concepts to different metadata elements in current data. (There are also specific lists for specific expression types, analogous to the legal list that Makx refers to, because specialist collections generally need more detail than general ones. For example, there is a list of musical expression types that is quite extensive and is used when describing musical works.)




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