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We try to collect a number of definitions to clarify our own use of certain terms:

  • Open is used in the context of Open Source (Wikipedia), and Open Content (Wikipedia) in the sense of the Open Definition. Openness requires the freedom to not only view or consume, but re-use and re-purpose content or software.
  • Term: has many meanings (see Wikipedia). We usually use this term in a semantic web when referring to the constituents of a vocabulary or ontology.
  • Metaterm: sometimes used to refer to terms used to defined terms, should probably best be avoided?
  • Ontology: see Wikipedia
  • Semantic: referring to meaning rather than structure (syntax).
  • Element: The term element may have many meanings, from a general component of something complex to specifically an xml element as part of a markup syntax. For accurate communication, qualifiers are desirable (e.g. xml element).
  • Entity: The term Entity may have many meanings, like thing, unit, concept, record. For accurate communication, qualifiers are desirable (relational entity, taxon entity, etc.).
  • Flora, Fauna, perhaps "Funga" (a neologism for mycological Flora): Definition to be added, please. Some pieces:
    • A Flora or Fauna is a a knowledge management system. Individual journal articles are primary knowledge sources, but the whole is not managed/curated.
    • Typical for a Flora or Fauna is the comprehensive review of existing literature and data, a gap analysis resulting in actively commissioning missing treatments, combined with high editorial standards for completeness and consistency.
Proposed definitions, to be discussed:
    • Course grained markup: Markup that only identifies rough classes of content (usually unstructured text). Examples are "synonymy", "morphological descriptions", "material section", or "citation".
    • Medium grained markup: Markup that identifies text that relates to an instance, but does not identify the instance. Example: Markup of a taxon name as "<scientificName>Nematofilus ferrugineum</scientificName>", without providing an indentifier for Nematofilus ferrugineum itself.
    • Fine grained markup: Markup that relates content to instances defined elsewhere. Example: Markup of a taxonname as "<xxx:Nematofilus_ferrugineum">Nematofilus ferrugineum</xxx:Nematofilus_ferrugineum>" or (combination with medium grained markup): "<scientificName ref="http://gbif.org/gna/Nematofilus_ferrugineum">Nematofilus ferrugineum</scientificName>", without providing an indentifier for Nematofilus ferrugineum itself.
  • Tag: We use "tag" in colloquial way when referring to the mark-up of content with an otherwise interpretable identifer. The most frequent model is xml elements surrounding text, e.g. "a <mytag>tagged content<mytag> example". However,


  • Class
  • Enhancing