Archive for the ‘Dublin Core’ Category


Monday, December 9th, 2013


From the webpage:

At rOpenSci we are creating packages that allow access to data repositories through the R statistical programming environment that is already a familiar part of the workflow of many scientists. We hope that our tools will not only facilitate drawing data into an environment where it can readily be manipulated, but also one in which those analyses and methods can be easily shared, replicated, and extended by other researchers. While all the pieces for connecting researchers with these data sources exist as disparate entities, our efforts will provide a unified framework that will be quickly connect researchers to open data.

More than twenty (20) R packages are available today!

Great for data mining your favorite science data repository, but that isn’t the only reason I mention them.

One of the issues for topic maps has always been how to produce the grist for a topic map mill. There is a lot of data and production isn’t a thrilling task. 😉

But what if we could automate that production, at least to a degree?

The search functions in Treebase offer several examples of auto-generation of semantics would benefit both the data set and potential users.

In Treebase: An R package for discovery, access and manipulation of online phylogenies Carl Boettiger and Duncan Temple Lang point out that Treebase has search functions for “author,” and “subject.”

Err, but Dublin Core 1.1 refers to authors as “creators.” And “subject,” for Treebase means: “Matches in the subject terms.”

The ACM would say “keywords,” as would many others, instead of “subject.”

Not a great semantic speed bump* but one that if left unnoticed, will result in poorer, not richer search results.

What if for an R package like Treebase, a user could request what is identified by a field?

That is in addition to the fields being returned, one or more key/value pairs are returned for each field, which define what is identified by that field.

For example, for “author” an --iden switch could return:

Author Semantics

and so on, perhaps even including identifiers in other languages.

While this step only addresses identifying what a field identifies, it would be a first step towards documenting identifiers that could be used over and over again to improve access to scientific data.

Future changes and we know there will be future changes, are accommodated by simply appending to the currently documented identifiers.

Document identifier mappings once, Reuse identifier mappings many times.

PS: The mapping I suggest above is a blind mapping, there is no information is given about “why” I thought the alternatives given were alternatives to the main entry “author.”

Blind mappings are sufficient for many cases but are terribly insufficient for others. Biological taxonomies, for example, do change and capturing what characteristics underlie a particular mapping may be important in terms of looking forwards or backwards from some point in time in the development of a taxonomy.

* I note for your amusement that Wikipedia offers “vertical deflection traffic calming devices,” as a class that includes “speed bump, speed hump, speed cushion, and speed table.”

Like many Library of Congress subject headings, “vertical deflection traffic calming devices” doesn’t really jump to mind when doing a search for “speed bump.” 😉

Dublin Core Mapping Comments [by 7 April 2013]

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Stuart Sutton, Managing Director, DCMI, calls on the Dublin Core community to comment on a mapping from Dublin Core terms to the PROV provenance ontology.

His call reads:

The DCMI Metadata Provenance Task Group [1] is collaborating with the W3C Provenance Working Group [2] on a mapping from Dublin Core terms to the PROV provenance ontology [3], currently a W3C Proposed Recommendation. More precisely, the document describes a partial mapping from DCMI Metadata Terms [4] to the PROV-O OWL2 ontology [5] — a set of classes and properties usable for representing and interchanging information about provenance. Numerous terms in the DCMI vocabulary provide information about the provenance of a resource. Translating these terms into PROV relates this information explicitly to the W3C provenance model.

The mapping is currently a W3C Working Draft. The final state of the document will be that of a W3C Note, to be published as part of a suite of documents in support of a W3C Recommendation for provenance interchange [6].

DCMI would like to point to the W3C Note as a DCMI Recommended Resource and therefore encourages the Dublin Core community to provide feedback and take part in the finalization of the mapping.

The deadline for all comments is 7 April 2013. We recommend that comments be provided directly to the public W3C list for comments: [7], ideally with a Cc: to DCMI’s dc-provenance list [8]. Comments sent only to the dc-provenance list will be summarized on the W3C list and addressed, and discussions on the W3C list will be summarized back on the dc-provenance list when appropriate.

Stuart Sutton, Managing Director, DCMI