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DC-GENERAL  July 1998

DC-GENERAL July 1998

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Subject:

Surrogates, 1:1, DC Type, Format and Relation

From:

Simon Cox <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 30 Jul 1998 12:04:27 +0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (91 lines)

There is certainly some clarification or discussion required 
around all this.  

Under the currently agreed semantics, I think that DC.Identifier 
and DC.Format offer few problems around surrogates and 1:1.   

With DC.Type I have been espousing a line in which
DC.Type gives the genre of the information, regardless 
of the instantiation format.  For example, text-is-text, 
whether it is formatted as image/g3fax or sepia/vellum, 
thus various versions or surrogates of the same resource 
would retain the DC.Type="text".  

This principle _appears_ to break down for physical objects.  
For example, in the 1:1 examples we have been suggesting 
that in "instantiating" a sculpture as a photograph,  
the DC.Type changes from "Physical Object" to "Image".  

So why do we think there is a difference between these two cases?  

I believe that this is connected to the "IsFormatOf" vs. "IsBasedOn" 
distinction which arose in the DC.Relation discussions.  
In the former "IsFormatOf" case, the change in format is intended to 
be essentially neutral in regard to content or Intellectual Property 
questions.  However, no matter how you try to disguise it, a photograph 
that "IsBasedOn" a sculpture is a very different thing, with much 
different "content", and will always be, in rather important ways, 
a new interpretation of the subject, and thus a creation in its own right.  
Thus it is a different thing in its essence, and gets its own "new" 
DC.Type because of this.   

In both cases, of course, if the original resource is important 
then it should be indicated using the DC.Relation element.  


Now I, at least, am still comfortable that application 
of the 1:1 principle in these ways is not only consistent and 
defensible, but when used properly (or in Diane Hillman's words 
"creatively"), is also useful.  However, this might depend on 
rather careful, perhaps subtle analysis of "content" in 
order to settle on the proper genre or DC.Type.  I guess this 
is why cataloging is such a fine art, but IS IT THE POINT OF DC?  
There is a dilemma here between the "simple" application domain 
for DC, and a consistent, logical application of modelling rules 
and semantics, which are possibly a bit broken anyway in DC 
because of the oft noted ambiguity within the DC-15, for example.  

Perhaps it could be partly solved just through more and more 
examples, but can we expect users to look at these?  
My feeling is that a case could be made for types such as 
"surrogate" to satisfy the former, but there is a real danger 
of this running away from us.  There is however, arguably, a 
real choice here.  


As for the question of where to record the creator 
of the physical-object original, perhaps a case could be 
made for using DC.Contributor, or maybe a "role" on one 
of these ...?

***NB As noted in my gloss to the "Simon Cox" examples, 
information that you can't get into anywhere else can 
pretty much _always_ be jammed into **DC.Description** 
without offending anyone.  


-----
In Simon Pockley's examples from film, there is no 
real problem if the surrogates are frames or digital 
videos, etc (the DC.Type stays as "image"(1) ) 
but as soon as the surrogate is something like a text 
description, then we leave DC.Type="image" behind.  

I think that some of Simon's problem is the fuzzy 
boundary between data and metadata.  
Simon:  in the cases where you want to have an on-line 
text surrogate for an item from your holdings, then why 
not just let the DC metadata play this role itself?  
Identify the offline resource, using your own index 
system, in DC.Identifier.  If you want a longish 
text description then use DC.Description, etc, etc.  

(1) perhaps "image/moving" when we get around to adding 
more structure to the vocabularies later on.  
-- 
__________________________________________________
Dr Simon Cox - Australian Geodynamics Cooperative Research Centre
CSIRO Exploration & Mining, PO Box 437, Nedlands, WA 6009 Australia
T:  +61 8 9389 8421   F:  +61 8 9389 1906   [log in to unmask]
http://www.ned.dem.csiro.au/SimonCox/

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