[tdwg-content] InstitutionCode Issue - ownership vs. custodianship

Lynn Kutner Lynn_Kutner at natureserve.org
Thu Jul 30 22:45:42 CEST 2009

I think it makes sense to have separate "ownership" and "custodian" terms.

As custodians, we provide data to GBIF on behalf of our network of member programs.

This could become complicated, however, because some of those member program are themselves custodians of data that is owned by others.


Lynn Kutner
phone: (703) 797-4804
email:  lynn_kutner at natureserve.org

-----Original Message-----
From: tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org [mailto:tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org] On Behalf Of John R. WIECZOREK
Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 3:24 PM
To: TDWG Content Mailing List
Subject: [tdwg-content] InstitutionCode Issue - ownership vs. custodianship

This Darwin Core Issue
(http://code.google.com/p/darwincore/issues/detail?id=34) is being
brought into this forum for further discussion in the hopes of a
definitive recommendation.

==New Term Recommendation==
Submitter:Ann Hitchcock

Justification: The evolution, from 2003 to the present, of the
term "Institution Code" has resulted in a change from property ownership
("the institution to which the collection belongs") to administrative or
management responsibility ("the institution administering the collection
or data set").  We need to be able to separately identify the owning
institution when that institution differs from the managing institution.
Such a situation occurs when the owning party lends the collection to a
repository for long-term management.  The catalog numbers that both
institutions may assign to the same specimen are addressed by the Catalog
Number and "Other Catalog Numbers," but property ownership is not

Definition:  The name (or acronym) in use by the owner of the collection
or data set if different from the InstituionCode.

Comment:Examples: "NPS", "INBio". For discussion see


Has Domain:http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/Occurrence

Has Range:


ABCD 2.06:DataSets/DataSet/Units/Unit/SourceInstitutionID

Comment 1 by gtuco.btuco, Today (3 hours ago)
Interesting. Do you think that dc:rights
(http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/index.htm#dcterms:rights) and dc:rightsHolder
(http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/index.htm#dcterms:rightsHolder) might
fulfill the needs
you are recommending?
Status: Accepted
Labels: Priority-Medium Milestone-Release1.0
Delete comment Comment 2 by ann_hitc... at nps.gov, Today (14 minutes ago)
"Rights" and "Rights Holder" do address part of the issue, especially
if a second
example on "Rights" could be given that refers to physical property in
addition to
intellectual property.  For example "Specimens are U.S. Government Property."
Although these definitions are helpful, they still do not address the
issue that the
occurrence of the specimens or data set may be recorded in both the
collection of
the institution with custody and the collection of the institution
with ownership.

Perhaps the term "administering" in the definition for Institution
Code should be
replaced with "with custody of" and the proposed definition for
Institution Code
should be bifurcated as follows:

InstitutionOwnership Code:  The name (or acronym) in use by the
institution that
owns the collection or data set in which the Occurrence is recorded.

InstitutionCustody Code:  The name (or acronym) in use by the institution with
custody of the collection or data set in which the Occurrence is recorded, if
different from the InstitutionOwnership Code.

Comment 3 by gtuco.btuco, Today (moments ago)
Since this has moved into the realm of discussion and away from a
definitive recommendation, I need to move it to the tdwg-content list
for open discussion. If you have not yet joined that list, please do
so to continue the conversation there in an open forum.
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