W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-openannotation@w3.org > February 2013

body which is a non-information resource

From: Steve Baskauf <steve.baskauf@vanderbilt.edu>
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2013 09:25:21 -0600
Message-ID: <512B8261.8050400@vanderbilt.edu>
To: <public-openannotation@w3.org>
There is a need for a mechanism to document the relationship between two 
biodiversity-related non-information resources.  The Darwin Core 
ResourceRelationship terms 
(http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/index.htm#relindex)  provide a means to do 
that in text-based systems.  However, we are working on guidelines for 
the use of Darwin Core as RDF.  We are considering whether the OA model 
might be suitable for describing relationships between 
biodiversity-related resources.

For example, an preserved organismal specimen may have been collected 
and known to be the offspring of another organism which was also 
collected as a separate preserved specimen.  We would like to make 
statements something like:

<http://guid.mvz.org/relations/23423> a dwc:ResourceRelationship, 
                                      oa:annotatedAt "2001-09-14";

<http://arctos.database.museum/guid/MVZ:Mamm:14523> a 
dcmitype:PhysicalObject, dwctype:PreservedSpecimen.

<http://arctos.database.museum/guid/MVZ:Mamm:14524> a 
dcmitype:PhysicalObject, dwctype:PreservedSpecimen.

There are several issues that come to my mind with this kind of use:

1.  According to the OA model description, typically the Body "is the 
comment or other descriptive resource" and the Target is a thing that 
"the Body is somehow 'about' ".  In my example the Body is a dead mammal 
which is a non-information resource and is in no way descriptive.  The 
Body is related to, but not really "about" the Target, although one of 
the listed instances of oa:Motivation is oa:linking, and asserting that 
one organism is the offspring of another is a sort of linking.

2. I'm a little confused about what one is doing when one creates an 
Annotation.  I think that creating an annotation is the act of asserting 
that there is a connection between the two resources.  However, the 
description of the oa:Motivation class says that a Motivation instance 
is the reason for the creation of the Annotation instance, NOT the 
reason for the creation the relationship which the Annotation instance 
documents.  Are the various items on the list of instances of 
oa:Motivation things that we are saying an annotating agent has done?  
Or are those things that we are saying that the annotating agent is 
asserting has been done?  For example, if an agent creates an Annotation 
instance with motivation oa:commenting, do we assume that agent has 
actually created the comment or that the agent is just documenting that 
a comment has been created by someone else?  In my example above, the 
annotating agent cannot have a role in the creation of the relationship 
between the Body and Target.  The agent is simply recording the 
existence of the relationship.

Using the OA model to document dwc:ResourceRelationship instances is 
very appealing to me.  I'm just not sure if it is appropriate to use OA 
to describe relationships that may not fit the description of 
oa:Annotation instances, and with Body resources that are 
non-information resources.  Perhaps

oa:Annotation rdfs:subClassOf dwc:ResourceRelationship.

and the OA model is narrower than what we need to do with 

Steve Baskauf
TDWG RDF Task Group co-convener

Steven J. Baskauf, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer
Vanderbilt University Dept. of Biological Sciences

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Received on Monday, 25 February 2013 23:19:51 UTC

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