[tdwg-tag] Darwin Core term management - dc:type, basisOfRecord, and recordClass

John R. WIECZOREK tuco at berkeley.edu
Tue Dec 1 19:58:44 CET 2009

Dear TAG,

If no one disagrees with Lee that I should "move as I think best" (see
below), then on
my trip to town from the field next week (probably Thursday, subject
to weather conditions), I will:

1) Update a few pending term Comments. These fall into the class of
simple errata, as they don't affect semantics and won't result in new
versions of the terms.
2) Change the dcterms:type controlled vocabulary to be purely Dublin
Core. Change the documentation to reflect this change and add a formal
3) Change the controlled vocabulary recommendation for basisOfRecord
to reflect biodiversity-specific terms (PreservedSpecimen,
HumanObservation, etc.) as string literals. Add a formal Decision.
4) Dispense with the idea of the recordClass. This term would only be
useful in flat text-based files, and it's functionality can be
achieved (albeit with slightly more complexity) with the

I will prepare these changes, ready to commit them next week if there
is no cry of outrage. If there is a cry, I'll do my best to
accommodate it.


On Thu, Nov 26, 2009 at 1:24 PM, Lee Belbin <leebel at netspace.net.au> wrote:
> Hi John
> This issue was on the agenda for the Executive Committee meeting but we did
> not get time in Montpellier to address it. DwC is moving faster than the
> Exec so until we can define an updated  strategy, I'd suggest that you move
> as you think best. The issues that come to my mind are
> 1.       That we have to be careful not to generate a target that moves
> faster than community acceptance. The Wiki approach to life is fine for
> emerging understanding but the punctuated component of punctuated
> equilibrium needs more considered thought when applied to standards.
> 2.       TDWG’s process was designed with consensus to the fore. Proposed
> changes to the ‘standard’ need consensus approval by the ‘Darwin Core
> community’
> 3.       Do we need an independent (of the Darwin Core Community)
> person/group to ‘sign off’ on updates as we do now? If the person/group is
> independent, then they are likely to know less than the community that
> developed the standard. If they are a group of more than 3, they probably
> move slowly.
> Lee
> Lee Belbin
> TDWG Secretariat

On Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 8:15 PM, John R. WIECZOREK <tuco at berkeley.edu> wrote:
> Dear TAG,
> On 23 October a solution to existing problems with the use of
> dwc:basisOfRecord and dcterms:type as published in the current Darwin
> Core standard was proposed. Discussions on tdwg-content leading up to
> and since that proposal support the addition of a term called
> recordClass as the pragmatic approach that requires less ongoing
> management than an alternative invoking a new type vocabulary. This
> message is to forge the way to the first Darwin Core term changes
> following the published Namespace Policy
> (http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/namespace/index.htm#classesofchanges).
> The proposed changes fall under two of the classes of changes, 3.3
> (Semantic changes in Darwin Core terms) and 3.4 (Addition of Darwin
> Core terms declarations to existing Darwin Core namespaces). I propose
> to draft Decisions (see
> http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/history/decisions/index.htm) for review
> by the TAG following the 30-day prescribed review period (next week).
> I just wanted to send this introductory message in anticipation to
> open up the floor for any questions or commentary, as this is the
> first time this process has been invoked.
> John

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