[tdwg-content] Information about how controlled vocabularies would be handled under the draft Standards Documentation Specification
steve.baskauf at vanderbilt.edu
Sat Mar 11 15:50:17 CET 2017
At the TDWG meeting in December, I led an informative session describing
the main points of the draft Standards Documentation Specification (SDS)
and its sister standard, the draft Vocabulary Management Specification.
At that session, some participants seem to be taken aback at the
prescription by the SDS that controlled vocabularies should be SKOS
concept schemes rather than ontologies. There wasn't enough time at the
meeting to fully explore that issue and I hoped that it would come up
for further discussion during the public comment period.
We are now midway through the 30 day public comment period on the SDS
and so far, that issue has not come up. I was recently listening to the
recording of John Wieczorek's nice Darwin Core Hour presentation on
controlled vocabularies and it was apparent to me that the creation of
controlled vocabularies is an issue of interest to many in the
community. So I've written a blog post
attempts to explain in non-technical terms how the SDS specifies that
controlled vocabularies should be expressed in machine-readable form.
For those who are interested in the gory details, I've also included at
the end a more detailed explanation of the rationale for specifying that
controlled vocabularies should, in most cases, be described as SKOS
concept schemes rather than ontologies.
If you care about the creation of controlled vocabularies, you should
take a look at this post and create an official comment if there are
things you don't like about the approach taken in the proposed
specification. Our review manager, Dag Endresen, has requested that
issues be raised on the issue tracker at
https://github.com/tdwg/vocab/issues . However, historically
back-and-forth discussion about proposed standards has also taken place
on this list, so I think that responding here for clarification and
discussion would be appropriate prior to submitting an official comment.
Steven J. Baskauf, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer
Vanderbilt University Dept. of Biological Sciences
postal mail address:
Nashville, TN 37235-1634, U.S.A.
2125 Stevenson Center
1161 21st Ave., S.
Nashville, TN 37235
office: 2128 Stevenson Center
phone: (615) 343-4582, fax: (615) 322-4942
If you fax, please phone or email so that I will know to look for it.
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