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Re: notes at contepts vs notes at terms

From: Mark van Assem <mark@cs.vu.nl>
Date: Tue, 01 Nov 2005 12:29:41 +0100
Message-ID: <436751A5.8020609@cs.vu.nl>
To: "Miles, AJ \(Alistair\)" <A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk>
CC: public-esw-thes@w3.org

Hi Alistair,

I'm leaving the "use cases" that I wrote about for later, in this post 
I to summarize what I think Sue Ellen Wright, Bernard Vatant, Phil 
Carlisle and Stella Dextre Clark have been saying (please correct me 
if I'm wrong!) [1,2,3,4,5]. I'm hoping Sue and Stella can find time to 
provide some more examples.

About the word "term": I agree that it is overloaded. Should I call 
"the thing in the range of the skos:prefLabel and skos:altLabel 
properties" a Label or a Token?

If a class e.g. Label is introduced instead of the literal currently 
defined as the range of skos:prefLabel and skos:altLabel, additional 
information can be attached to Labels. The categories of information 
that can be attached to instances of a class Label or Token are 
(summarizing other people's posts):

- scope notes for terms, also referring to other terms to use [4]
- lexical information about the term [2,5]
- scope of usage of the lexical term [5]
- etymological, register-related, standardization
related [2] (I hope Sue can find time to clarify this further)

(what follows is not summarizing [1-5])

Furthermore, some examples from MeSH [6]:

- TermUI (local identifier)
- date created
- source thesaurus (MeSH groups different thesauri into one)
- abbreviation

which mostly fall under a category "editorial information". I also 
remember someone posting that some thesauri attach different 
definitions to different terms.

A class Label would make it possible to extend the SKOS schema for 
categories of information (attached to Label) we can't foresee right now.

You provide an alternative way to attach notes to labels [7]:

ex:conceptA a skos:Concept;
    skos:prefLabel 'Animals';
    skos:altLabel 'Fauna';
    skos:editorialNote [
      skos:onLbl 'Fauna';
      rdf:value 'Check with Mr.X. whether to keep "Fauna".';

I think this is a solution, but in principle this method could be used 
everywhere you normally use a class to group information about an 
entity. I think the more usual way to do this in RDF or OWL is 
introduce a class. Also, this is harder to maintain (changing 
skos:altLabel 'Fauna' without changing skos:onLbl 'Fauna' leads to 

Of course we can choose not to support this kind of information 
attached to terms, but then we should say so explicitly.


[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-esw-thes/2005Oct/0119
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-esw-thes/2005Oct/0109.html
[4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-esw-thes/2005Aug/0019
[6] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/xml2006sample.txt

  Mark F.J. van Assem - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
        mark@cs.vu.nl - http://www.cs.vu.nl/~mark
Received on Tuesday, 1 November 2005 11:30:00 UTC

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