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Re: Top three levels of Dewey Decimal Classification published as linked data

From: Ross Singer <rossfsinger@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2009 09:56:49 -0400
Message-ID: <23b83f160908240656g56964707vcbdc222d8a74564@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Panzer,Michael" <panzerm@oclc.org>
Cc: Ryan Shaw <ryanshaw@ischool.berkeley.edu>, Ed Summers <ehs@pobox.com>, public-lod@w3.org
On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 5:04 PM, Panzer,Michael<panzerm@oclc.org> wrote:

> I think this a general difficulty with the SKOS model. What is a SKOS
> concept? Is it a thing ("unit of thought") or an information resource?
> It seems that it can be both, depending what information you provide and
> how you refer to it. For example, it could be argued that the concept
> http://id.loc.gov/authorities/sh85137241#concept really refers to the
> idea of trees in general, or (probably more in line with common opinion)
> to the idea of trees as framed as an element of the controlled
> vocabulary LCSH.

It's interesting that you bring this up, since we were just having a
debate about it in the #code4lib IRC channel given a decision I had
made modeling some MARC data.

My design had a distinction between "a person as a creator" (i.e. a
MARC 100 field) vs. "a person as a subject" (a MARC 600 field) -- that
is to say, they had distinct URIs (although, really, the SKOS concept
was the same URI with "#concept" tacked to the end).

See here for an example:

My rationale was that an LCSH heading comprises other meaning than the
literal thing.  That is to say, "the subject of William Shakespeare
neither wrote the 'The Tempest' nor was a contemporary of Chistopher

is not quite the same as:

At least not in my mind (and I could very well be wrong):  the latter
is a literal:  this point represents a canyon in Arizona located at N
35 58' 26'' W 113 46' 8''.  The former stands for a more abstract
interpretation of that that can comprise of more than just the rocks,
ditch and donkeys.

Rob Styles made an interesting rebuttal to my point about William
Shakespeare (re: the MARC 100 and 600 fields):  they are actually
describing the same thing, but it's not what we think of as a
"person".  It's a "bibliographic identity" (which is why Samuel
Clemens and Mark Twain are distinct from each other).  This is an
interesting (and, in my mind, rational) interpretation, but I'm not
sure how it then affects modeling the creator resources if they aren't
people but "bibliographic identities".

Anyway, yes, I think some more thought needs to go into Dewey and
LCSH's relationship to the "real world".

Received on Monday, 24 August 2009 13:57:30 UTC

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