[tdwg-content] What is dwc:basisOfRecord for?

Blum, Stan SBlum at calacademy.org
Wed Oct 27 10:02:30 CEST 2010


I'm wasn't involved in those final discussions of dwc:basisOfRecord and the
type vocabulary, but I don't see a difficulty.  The Dublin Core type
vocabulary includes the following:


The Darwin Core types extend that with the three additional types, and with
Occurrence being further subtyped with those different kinds of Occurrences.


Data publishers/providers should categorize their Occurrence data as one of
those subtypes (or perhaps another subtype that wasn't included in that
list).  It's up to the consumer to decide which kind of Occurrence subtypes
are appropriate for a particular use.

Could you give examples of the inconsistent use of values in basisOfRecord ?

Also note, John W. is traveling at the moment.  Markus might be able to
provide additional thoughts.


On 10/25/10 10:34 PM, "Steve Baskauf" <steve.baskauf at vanderbilt.edu> wrote:

> OK, I know that this sounds like a stupid question, but I really want
> somebody who was involved in the development and maintenance of the
> current DwC standard to tell me how the term dwc:basisOfRecord is
> supposed to be used (not what it IS - I've seen the definition at
> http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/index.htm#basisOfRecord)?  I would like for
> the answer of this question to be separated from the issue of what the
> Darwin Core type vocabulary
> (http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/type-vocabulary/index.htm) is for.
> I re-read the lengthy thread starting with
> http://lists.tdwg.org/pipermail/tdwg-content/2009-October/000301.html
> which talked a lot about basisOfRecord and its relationship to other
> ways of typing things.  I don't want to re-plough that ground again, but
> I couldn't find the post that stated what the final decision was. I
> remember that there was a decision to NOT create the recordClass term
> which was the subject of much discussion.
> I guess my confusion at this point is with the inclusion of both
> "Occurrence" and "PreservedSpecimen" in the same list.  Let's say that I
> have a flat database where I include metadata about the Occurrence (such
> as dwc:recordedBy) and the specimen (such as dwc:preparations) in the
> same line.  What is the basisOfRecord for that line?  I would guess that
> the "basis of the record" was the specimen.  But the line in the record
> also represents an Occurrence.  It seems like there is a lack of clarity
> as to whether basisOfRecord is supposed to indicate the type of the
> record (which would be an Occurrence record) or whether it's supposed to
> indicate the kind of evidence on which the record is based (which would
> be PreservedSpecimen).  There have been various times where I've seen a
> database record that includes basisOfRecord and it seems to be
> inconsistently applied.
> I can see how the Darwin Core type vocabulary could be useful - it
> pretty much lays out useful values that one could give for rdfs:type.
> But basisOfRecord as a term is confusing me.
> Steve

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