Re: [dxwg] Attribution does not cover most MARC relators and other roles (#1521)

Some subjectivity is involved, true --- but necessarily so, because PROV is not very much formalized. Wiggle room exists. We do know, though, that the implicit activity in an attribution was an activity that **generated** the entity and that was **associated** with (or to) the agent. The activity is, indeed, kept at arms length because it is unknown or irrelevant: agree. But the implication is clear: an attributee is a creator because they were involved as agents in (and hence responsible for) generating the entity. No example of attribution in the PROV documents or the PROV book involves a non-creator role.

A funder of a research paper or dataset is not responsible for the existence the paper or the dataset: research is generally seen as being independent of funders. Collector is defined by MARC as in [1]: explicitly not a creator. That funders and collectors have clear roles and responsibilities is not the point: they are not involved in the activity that generated the enity.

In all fairness, many MARC relators are not attributions but not involvements either --- location, or judge, for instance. However, many non-attribution roles are useful to include in metadata.

DCAT resources include other 'cataloged resources' than just datasets. In our case, we use DCAT resources (among other resources) to describe millions of documents from thousands of sources (per year). We need to create a concept scheme for roles. This will include roles like 'addressee', 'receiver', 'approver', 'commentator', 'stakeholder'. 

A broader problem with attribution is that it implies agent involvement. The resource prov:Agent is a role: you are only a prov:Agent with respect to the activities that you are responsible for. Dedicatees, receivers and stakeholders are not agents with respect to an activity that is identical to or directly or indirectly connected to the generation activity. 

See the article referenced above for a more detailed analysis.

[1] _A curator who brings together items from various sources that are then arranged, described, and cataloged as a collection. A collector is neither the creator of the material nor a person to whom manuscripts in the collection may have been addressed_ ([url](

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Received on Monday, 13 June 2022 15:33:50 UTC