[tdwg-content] New Darwin Core terms proposed relating to material samples

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Sun May 26 23:33:26 CEST 2013

Everyone seems to be focused on the "word", but I'm much more interested in
the concept.  As I said in my reply to John, I use the word "individual"
only because DWC has already defined it via dwc:individualID. I honestly
don't care what the actual term is - as long as we understand the scope of
its conceptual meaning.  I have found strong experiential support for
collapsing "small group", "single individual", and "part" or "subsample" of
a single individual into the same conceptual entity. If we are going to
continue to use dwc:individualID, and dwc:materialSample as separate
entities in DWC, then we really need robust definitions to distinguish these
two things, so we don't end up with massive overlap.  Are they different
classes of things?  Are they both subclasses of something else (e.g.,







From: robgur at gmail.com [mailto:robgur at gmail.com] On Behalf Of Robert
Sent: Saturday, May 25, 2013 10:05 PM
To: Gregor Hagedorn
Cc: Richard Pyle; TDWG Content Mailing List; Robert Whitton; John Deck
Subject: Re: [tdwg-content] New Darwin Core terms proposed relating to
material samples



I agree with John and Gregor.  The term "individual" doesn't quite seem to
capture the concept or usage.  However, I think there is more general
agreement that there is a pressing need - and immediate value - for a term
to represent "material sample" and derivaties.  It seems that the proposal
on the table serves that need with the right definition, that is explicit,
and that provides necessary linkages to other related domains.  


Best, Rob



On Sun, May 26, 2013 at 1:47 AM, Gregor Hagedorn <g.m.hagedorn at gmail.com>

> Basically, we've been running with the idea of an "Individual" class - as
> originally proposed by Steve and discussed at some length on this list a
> while ago.  This has been documented for DSW:
> https://code.google.com/p/darwin-sw/wiki/ClassIndividual

> We define an "Individual" as the physical "something" that underpins an
> Occurrence.  In the case of organisms, this can be a group (herd, school,
> flock, etc.), specimen (either a single specimen, or a lot of multiple
> specimens), or any sort of derivative of a specimen (part, tissue sample,
> dna extraction, etc.).  It corresponds to the intended meaning of

I disagree with using "Individual" for sets of objects. It is
surprising, and lacking any clear definition when to stop, that means
a taxon is an individual, a collection is an individual, etc.

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