[tdwg-content] Darwin Core terms sex and lifeStage with mixed content
tuco at berkeley.edu
Thu Mar 26 16:24:56 CET 2015
In the interest of seeking resolution on this subject, I would like to
propose that the standard reflect that which is not in contention among the
illustrative examples, and leave the rest for secondary documentation.
There are linked discussion pages where these kinds of recommendations can
go, and controlled vocabularies (outside the scope of Darwin Core term
definitions) can accommodate discipline-specific norms with complete
definitions of the recommended values within those vocabularies.
Does anyone have any objections to this. If none arise before 26 April, I
will make a formal proposal to the Executive Committee recommending the
terms as proposed in the first message in this thread.
On Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 8:36 AM, Matt Yoder <diapriid at gmail.com> wrote:
> "If you want to break down counts to many dimensions you need to represent
> occurrences according to those dimensiions." I agree, and this is the
> approach we are taking (multiple lots with their own biocuration
> properties, see below).
> To follow up with Rich's observations on sex (and things like "stage"
> etc). In our software we have introduced the concept of a Biocuration
> class. Individuals in this class are biologicaly derived concepts *that
> are used to organize collections*. As Rich noted you have to make a bit
> of a leap from asserting that an individual classified under the
> biocuration class "female" is in fact female. In our software, by default,
> we do not make this leap, but we are considering extending the system to
> allow users to add domain/range constraints that would assert additional
> classifications, e.g. if a specimen is classified under the biocuration
> class "female(s)", then that specimen can be classified as a
> We feel that the biocuration concept more closely approximates the
> day-to-day intent/usage of classifiers like sex, stage, "furs", "bones"
> etc. as organizational concepts used to manage collections, rather than a
> specific biological assertion about the specimen(s).
> On Fri, Feb 6, 2015 at 4:05 AM, Markus Döring <m.doering at mac.com> wrote:
>> Right, Rich.
>> And this is exactly the reason why they are grouped under Occurrence now.
>> To me the problem of having mixed values for sex and lifestage in a “lot”
>> is pretty much the same as having different taxa in it.
>> And to avoid that mess we defined Organism, on which an occurrence is
>> based, to be taxonomically homogeneous.
>> I dont think we want to do the same for sex, but the most elegant way of
>> sharing this mixed information would be to share separate occurrence
>> records, each being homogenous in their sex and lifestage.
>> This might not be feasable for some publishers, but if its possible I
>> think thats the right way to go. If you want to break down counts to many
>> dimensions you need to represent occurrences according to those dimensiions.
>> On 06 Feb 2015, at 03:57, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org> wrote:
>> >> Does the term “sex” need to be constrained to the case of one
>> individual only, and not include individuals?
>> > One thing to keep in mind: sex is actually best not thought of as a
>> property of an individual, but rather a property of an individual at a
>> particular time (i.e., an Occurrence) (Note to Chuck: I know this isn't
>> what you were suggesting, but your suggestion reminded me of it). This is
>> because many organisms change sex throughout their lifetimes. So if
>> pinning "sex" (and "lifestage") down to a particular individual (for which
>> we have the new DwC class "Organism"), it should not be represented as a
>> property of an individual/organism, but rather as a property of an
>> individual/organism at a particular point in time (which we represent as
>> > This seems like a nit-pick, but if this conversation leads to changes
>> in DwC, I think it's important that we not allow it to lead to a step
>> > Aloha,
>> > Rich
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