[tdwg-content] Darwin Core Proposal - term content recommendations to comments

Éamonn Ó Tuama [GBIF] eotuama at gbif.org
Mon Mar 23 16:48:54 CET 2015

I can see how minting an additional term "dwcattributes:example" has a
certain consistency given the namespace is already in use but, as a close
alternative, and following best practice of not reinventing terms (and thus
making it easier for 3rd parties trying to process the RDF directly), I
think “skos:example” is also worth considering. I am not familiar with
"iao:example of usage" but checking the definition [1]:

“A phrase describing how a class name should be used. May also include other
kinds of examples that facilitate immediate understanding of a class
semantics, such as widely known prototypical subclasses or instances of the
class. Although essential for high level terms, examples for low level terms
(e.g., Affymetrix HU133 array) are not” (definition looks truncated)


 it refers to classes rather than properties. The majority of DwC terms are
properties.  So, can "iao:example of usage" be applied to them?




[1]  <http://purl.obolibrary.org/obo/IAO_0000112>


From: tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org
[mailto:tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org] On Behalf Of Markus Döring
Sent: 20 March 2015 14:35
To: John Wieczorek
Cc: TDWG Content Mailing List
Subject: Re: [tdwg-content] Darwin Core Proposal - term content
recommendations to comments


Thanks John,


mostly repeating what I said earlier I would prefer to coin the new example
term in the existing dwcattributes namespace. 

It feels more consistent, is very straight forward and as you say we can
always declare same as relations elsewhere if that is really useful to

I cannot see any immediate advantage of reusing either the skos or the iao
term over minting a new one in the single dwcattributes namespace that helps
documenting our dwc terms.





On 20 Mar 2015, at 14:14, John Wieczorek <tuco at berkeley.edu> wrote:

Dear all,


I would like to summarize my understanding of the state of the proposal to
put term content recommendations in comments consistently, rather than in
the definitions where they can sometimes be found. There has been universal
support for this idea. 


A second part of the proposal was to take this opportunity to separate the
examples from the comments using a distinct property to do so in the rdf
definitions of the terms. There has also been universal support for this


Discussion revolved around how to accomplish the second part of the
proposal. I originally proposed a new attribute "dwcattributes:example",
which would be included once for every distinct example of term usage - with
potentially many per Darwin Core term. There was universal support for the
idea of enabling this capability, though there was mixed opinion about using
an existing term instead of minting a new one in the dwcattributes
namespace. Specifically, "skos:example" and "iao:example of usage" were
discussed. Potential problems with "skos:example" were pointed out. Similar
concerns about "iao:example of usage" were addressed, leaving this option
still open for consideration.


It is not entirely clear technically (to me, anyway) how the annotation
property "iao:example of usage" would be imported into the normative rdf
document. I'm unaware of an OWL to RDF import mechanism. That doesn't mean
much, because I am not an expert. If there is not, I suppose we would have
to define an rdf file ourselves for the iao term and import that into
dwcattributes or into the normative Darwin Core rdf file(s) directly. I
don't think this would be a rigorous solution, but it would demonstrate our
intent fairly well, especially if there were comments to that effect in the
rdf files. Some guidance here might help us make a final decision on this


If there is no clear and rigorous solution to the rdf import problem from
IAO, then it may just be easier to coin "dwcattributes:example" as
originally proposed, at least for now, and worry about it's equivalence to
"iao:example of usage" on the ontology side (BCO).


I would really like to get the broader issue resolved soon, as we do already
have consensus on making the contents of the definitions and comments
consistent. If we can't resolve how to separate the examples (even though we
agree that it is a good idea), I will propose that we forget that added part
of the proposal and just deal with the consistency issue first.


Comments encouraged, as always.






On Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 10:01 AM, Ramona Walls <rlwalls2008 at gmail.com> wrote:

As far as I know, iao:example of usage also allows both literals and URLs as
the range. However, I fail to see a serious problem with that, and to me,
the benefits of re-using existing properties far outway the benefits I could
see from having a separate set of properties for literals. Also, I don't
know anyone who reasons over annotations properties, although I am sure
there are those who do.

In response to Paul Morris's comment, simply using iao:example of usage does
not import all of IAO, and therefore does not include any of the "baggage"
of using IAO.


Ramona L. Walls, Ph.D.
Scientific Analyst, The iPlant Collaborative, University of Arizona
Research Associate, Bio5 Institute, University of Arizona
Laboratory Research Associate, New York Botanical Garden


On Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 10:48 AM, Richard Pyle <deepreef at bishopmuseum.org>

Like others, I like the idea in principle, but I’m not well-versed in the
implications of alternate approaches to implementation to weigh in on that.
Whatever technical solution is adopted, I would like to hope that it
supports the representation of more than a single example; as sometimes it
is useful  to show alternate forms of acceptable content.






From: tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org
[mailto:tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org] On Behalf Of John Wieczorek
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2015 7:22 AM
To: Paul J. Morris
Cc: TDWG Content Mailing List; Ramona Walls
Subject: Re: [tdwg-content] Darwin Core Proposal - term content
recommendations to comments


Does anyone have similar concerns about iao:example?


On Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 2:09 PM, Paul J. Morris <mole at morris.net> wrote:

On Thu, 5 Feb 2015 11:17:58 -0500
Bob Morris <morris.bob at gmail.com> wrote:
> But  skos:note and its subproperties (including skos:example) can take
> literals or references [1].  To me, that weighs   more than the
> baggage of minting two new terms.

Also, SKOS, unless care is taken to import the Owl-DL version, brings
you into Owl-Full, with undesirable consequences for those who wish to
do reasoning.  In early versions of dwcFP, we did include SKOS terms,
but removed them because of the consequences for reasoning.

SKOS has some nice terms, reuse is a nice idea, but it comes with
significant knowledge engineering consequences.

Paul J. Morris
Biodiversity Informatics Manager
Harvard University Herbaria/Museum of Comparative Zoölogy
mole at morris.net  AA3SD  PGP public key available

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