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Re: [dxwg] Express dct:contributor explicitly or via qualifiedAttribution (#1065)

From: matthiaspalmer via GitHub <sysbot+gh@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2019 15:46:22 +0000
To: public-dxwg-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <issue_comment.created-532745684-1568821581-sysbot+gh@w3.org>
As @andrea-perego said, it was confusing for me. Let me elaborate.
The two first sentences in 13.1:

> The standard [DCTERMS] properties dct:contributor, dct:creator and dct:publisher, and the generic prov:wasAttributedTo from [PROV-O], support basic associations of responsible agents with a cataloged resource. However, there are many other roles of importance in relation to datasets and services - e.g. funder, distributor, custodian, editor.

I would use "basic associations" to refer only to the 2 properties to be expressed directly (dct:creator and dct:publisher). To include in the same sentence also the generic construction and one specific use of that construction (prov:wasAttributedTo with dct:contributor) is very confusing. Especially when the next sentence talks about "other roles" that makes the case for the use of that generic construction.    

The sentence in the changelog is also confusing:
> The property dcat:hadRole is added to support the use of prov:qualifiedAttribution to associate an agent with a resource, where the role of the agent with relation to the resource is specified, and is something other than the standard [DCTERMS] roles: creator, publisher or contributor. 

I interpret "something other than" to mean "do not use dcat:hadRole for these listed predicates".

Furthermore, I found the following in chapter C2 which I missed before:

> prov:wasAttributedTo provides a general link to all kinds of associated agents, such as project sponsors, managers, dataset owners, etc which are not correctly characterized using dct:creator, dct:contributor or dct:publisher.

Again, this seems to indicate that prov:wasAttributedTo should not be used for dct:contributor!

I understand the comment from @riccardoAlbertoni about the open world, but the DCAT "recommends" certain properties, including dct:creator, dct:publisher and prov:wasAttributedTo. So my point is that the W3C Recommendation should make clear if it  "recommends" dct:contributor to be expressed directly on a cataloged resource or via prov:wasAttributedTo. Currently I think there are four different places that makes you scratch your head.

So why beat around the bush, just make the wording clear that dct:contributor is to be used in conjuction with prov:qualifiedAttribution and everything is fine. As @dr-shorthair says, it is impossible to enumerate all the possibilities, but since dct:contributor is mentioned several times it does not hurt to clarify how the relation is supposed to be expressed.

So, to summarize, this is how I read the document right now:

**Should dct:contributor be expressed as a direct property?**
1. NO - Not explicitly recommended by the specification
2. MAYBE - It is a basic association (chapter 13.1, the wording is unclear)
3. YES - You can (open world argument)
4. YES - Changelog and example C2 says not as prov:AttributedTo, so yes it has to be direct.

**Should dct:contributor be expressed via prov:wasAttributedTo**
1. MAYBE - It is mentioned several times in chapter 13 (unclear wording)
2. NO - According to changelog (as I interpret the text)
3. NO - According to text in the C2 example.

I think all mentions of dct:contributor in the document are more or less unclear, they should be revisited and clarified.

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Received on Wednesday, 18 September 2019 15:46:24 UTC

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