[dwc-material-sample] Draft doc on Organism, Occurrence, and MaterialSample

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Tue Nov 16 08:49:13 UTC 2021

I think the issue of “multiple instances of dwc:MaterialSample representing a single lot” is different from “multiple individuals collectively representing a single instance of dwc:Organism”.  They have some similar characteristics as issues, but the “Organism” thing causes more confusion with Taxon than the MaterialSample (Lot) thing does.





Richard L. Pyle, PhD
Senior Curator of Ichthyology | Director of XCoRE

Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum

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From: dwc-material-sample <dwc-material-sample-bounces at lists.tdwg.org> On Behalf Of Stan Blum
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2021 8:00 AM
To: John Wieczorek <tuco at berkeley.edu>
Cc: dwc-material-sample at lists.tdwg.org
Subject: Re: [dwc-material-sample] Draft doc on Organism, Occurrence, and MaterialSample


Yes, I also think the boundary between organism and taxon is important to get right.  I'm not sure it belongs on this page, though one of the next scenarios I think does belong on this page is comes with "lots" -- multiple individuals together as one material sample. That starts to go the direction of taxon, but it might not get there until we begin talking about observations -- really large numbers of (or very endangered species!)


Does the organism - taxon distinction deserve its own "page"?


On Mon, Nov 15, 2021 at 6:29 AM John Wieczorek <tuco at berkeley.edu <mailto:tuco at berkeley.edu> > wrote:

Very nice wiki page, Stan! Thanks for that.


One thing I wonder is whether we need to add Taxon to that list. I know that in discussions people have expressed conflicting opinions about whether there is a continuum from Organism to Taxon. If we can't dispel that, we'll have to conclude what that relationship actually is formally before we get very far with Organism. I don't want to spawn a discussion of that here in the mailing list, but I would really like to have that straight at the same time we try to make other definitions. Is it OK to get that into the mix?


On Mon, Nov 15, 2021 at 6:29 AM Stan Blum <stanblum at gmail.com <mailto:stanblum at gmail.com> > wrote:

Hi all,


While our discussions of issues have been very very helpful, they tend to stray from the original title of the issue. I think it would be helpful if we went at this with a bit more structure.   I think the progress we've made indicates that we might be able to come to a consensus about the concepts Organism, Occurrence, and MaterialSample, and in particular, how they should be encoded so that they are correctly aggregated and interpreted by end users.  So...


I've posted what we might use as a starter doc on the home page <https://github.com/tdwg/material-sample/wiki>  on our repository's wiki. But I think it would be far easier to comment and revise this in GoogleDocs.  So I'd like to propose that the group create a GoogleDocs folder with everyone having edit rights.  I'll invite you using the email address you've used to subscribe to the mailing list.  If you prefer to use another account for GoogleDocs, please let me know (by direct reply) and I'll add that account as well.  If editing takes off in the GoogleDoc, I'll delete that content from the wiki page as it gets out of date.


With best regards,





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