[tdwg-content] Borrowed terms policy of Audubon Core

Baskauf, Steven James steve.baskauf at Vanderbilt.Edu
Tue Oct 1 13:22:27 UTC 2019

As part of ongoing efforts to clean up and clarify the Audubon Core (AC) documentation, the AC Maintenance Group has established a policy on versioning of terms in AC that are borrowed from other vocabularies.  In a nutshell, AC will automatically adopt the newest versions of terms borrowed from other TDWG vocabularies such as Darwin Core.  It will NOT automatically update to the newest versions of terms borrowed from vocabularies outside of TDWG, but rather the  Maintenance Group will examine the effect of version changes on stability and interoperability before instituting a version change.  See the AC policies page [1] for details and background.

The effect of the decision to institute this policy will be to remove the text "All geography terms from the Darwin Core version of 9 Dec 2009 are deemed included in the Core Layer. Specifically, this includes exactly those which are declared by Darwin Core to be in Darwin Core Class dwc:Location." from Section 7.5 of the AC Terms List document [2].  This is informative (non-normative) text and the Maintenance Group has determined that since the Darwin Core geography terms are now explicitly listed in the Term List document (vs. included by references as in the original Term List document), removal of the text will NOT have a negative effect on the community's understanding of what is included in the standard.  Therefore, in accordance with Section 3.4.3 of the TDWG Vocabulary Maintenance Specification [3], the Maintenance Group is informing the community of this change rather than invoking the full change process described in the Maintenance Specification.

The Maintenance Group plans to release a new version of the Audubon Core Standard when all of the changes associated with the cleanup are in place.  That new version of the standard will include a new version of the Term List document with the change listed above as well as other changes to term metadata resulting from the resolution of other issues documented in the AC issues tracker [4].  In the new version of the Term List document, the Maintenance Group intends to add explicit version IRIs to the term metadata for terms where version IRIs exist.  This will further reduce any confusion about what borrowed term versions are intended to be included in Audubon Core.

Steve Baskauf
Audubon Core Maintenance Group convener

[1] https://github.com/tdwg/ac/blob/master/policies.md
[2] https://tdwg.github.io/ac/termlist/#7-vocabularies
[3] https://github.com/tdwg/vocab/blob/master/vms/maintenance-specification.md
[4] https://github.com/tdwg/ac/issues

Steven J. Baskauf, Ph.D.
Data Science and Data Curation Specialist
Jean & Alexander Heard Libraries, Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN 37235, USA

Office: Eskind Biomedical Library, EMB 111
Phone: (615) 343-4582

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