[Crm-sig] CIDOC CRM - issue 276 Shortcuts, P2

George Bruseker bruseker at ics.forth.gr
Mon Oct 5 20:02:40 EEST 2015

Dear all,

With regards to knowledge creation process and shortcuts and, in particular, P2, a draft position formulated by Øyvind and myself is offered below: 

“All knowledge in a data system is introduced into said system by a human agent, either directly or indirectly. In the domain of cultural heritage there are clear systems of responsibility for collection documentation and management, ideally specified in institutional policy and protocol documents. We stress that this is a claim about official responsibility rather than a claim about the level of knowledge at the side of actual employees of museums.   When people use a collections system they are many times engaging more in ‘naming’ than in ‘attributing’.  That it to say, they are giving labels for the sake of having a label. Knowledge of what that thing is may come later and lead to an attribute assignment.

As a general ideal rule then, any piece of information found in a museum collection database can be seen to be the basic documentation position of the institution responsible for the database with regards to the object in question. The only exception is represented by information that carries with it an explicit statement of responsibility.

In CRM such statements of responsibility are expressed though knowledge creation events such as E13 Attribute Assignment with subclasses. Any information in a CRM model which is based on an explicit creation event for that piece of information is attributed to be the responsibility of the actor identified as causal in that event (provided the creator’s identity has been made explicit for that event). For any information connected to knowledge creation events that do not explicitly reference their creator, as well as any information not connected to creation events, the responsibility falls back to the institution responsible for the database/knowledge graph. That means that for information only expressed through shortcuts such as ‘P2 has type’, where no knowledge creation event has been explicitly specified, the originating creation event cannot be deduced and the responsibility for the information can never be any other body than the institution responsible for the whole information system.” 

Looking forward to discuss at the meeting.


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