[tdwg-content] New terms need resolution: "Individual"

Chuck Miller Chuck.Miller at mobot.org
Mon Jul 11 18:05:15 CEST 2011

I agree with Rich.  All the standard terms need clear definitions to
reduce the variation in usage.  Single or double words will never be
sufficient to clarify all the permutations that seem to crop up when
applying the terms to actual data sets.  Clear definitions with multiple
examples are necessary to minimize the GIGO problem.

I think we also have some terms that may have different meanings when
used in context with other terms.  The "source" term has been discussed
this week and its alternatives.  But, the meaning of source or
ReferencedBy or related terms, can vary depending upon the other term
with which it is being associated.  These contextually-varying meanings
could also be included in the definitions and examples.


-----Original Message-----
From: tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org
[mailto:tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org] On Behalf Of Richard Pyle
Sent: Monday, July 11, 2011 8:59 AM
To: 'Gregor Hagedorn'; 'Paul Murray'
Cc: 'TDWG Content Mailing List'; biscicol at googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [tdwg-content] New terms need resolution: "Individual"

Personally, I don't really care what the term is -- as long as it's
well-defined, appropriate, reasonably unambiguous, and used
Of the options John listed, I personally prefer "Biological Entity", but
I also see Gregor's point that it may be too generic.  I don't like the
word "Individual", because I would like to see it applied up to at least
the level of a group of individuals, if not a population (I would be
very happy if the "entity" covered by the term included subtypes of
"Population", "Group", "IndividualOrganism", and perhaps even
"OrganismPart"; as well as whatever terms in-between this spectrum are
deemed useful).

I guess "Organism" comes closest, and I don't think the definition needs
to be so "pure" that it excludes viruses.  But whatever term is
selected, please try to pick something that introduces as little
ambiguity as possible.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gregor Hagedorn [mailto:g.m.hagedorn at gmail.com]
> Sent: Monday, July 11, 2011 11:07 AM
> To: Paul Murray
> Cc: Richard Pyle; TDWG Content Mailing List; biscicol at googlegroups.com
> Subject: Re: [tdwg-content] New terms need resolution: "Individual"
> On 11 July 2011 02:51, Paul Murray <pmurray at anbg.gov.au> wrote:
> > What happened to 'Organism'?
> Would exclude viruses. -- Gregor

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