W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-esw-thes@w3.org > January 2005

scope notes and definitions

From: Miles, AJ (Alistair) <A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2005 15:01:16 -0000
Message-ID: <F5839D944C66C049BDB45F4C1E3DF89D18DB52@exchange31.fed.cclrc.ac.uk>
To: "'public-esw-thes@w3.org'" <public-esw-thes@w3.org>

(reposting this with helpful subject line)

Mark wrote:
> I was wondering about the difference between skos:scopeNote and
> skos:definition (and also editorialNote/changeNote). Thesauri 
> in the ISO
> 2788 format only have a scope note (i.e. the scope note is the
> definition). Their difference may become clearer if an example
> containing both a scope note and a definition is included. 
> Also, people
> migrating from an ISO thesaurus need to be aware that their ScopeNotes
> should probably be migrated to skos:definition.

The intention is that a definition is a 'statement or formal explanation of
the meaning of a concept' (i.e. is supposed to be a *complete* explanation
of the meaning of the concept) whereas a scope note is a 'note that helps to
clarify the meaning of a concept' (i.e. a statement of what the meaning of
the concept includes or does not include, but not a complete explanation of
the meaning of a concept).  In other words, a 'scope note' says something
about what is 'in or out of scope' for a particular concept.  A definition
is supposed to describe (fully) the 'scope' of a concept.

This means that, if a concept has a definition, it should not need a scope
note (i.e. the two properties should never co-occur).  

An example of a scope note:

Concept [ 
	preferred label: Europe 
	scope note: includes Russia 

An example of a definition:

Concept [
	preferred label: Europe
	definition: The sixth-largest continent, extending west from the
Dardanelles, Black Sea, and Ural Mountains. It is technically a vast
peninsula of the Eurasian land mass.

Does this usage seem reasonable?  A better explanation of this in the guide?


Received on Monday, 24 January 2005 15:01:50 UTC

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