[Crm-sig] Homework Issue 276 Knowledge and Attribution (in relation to P2 type shortcuts)

George Bruseker bruseker at ics.forth.gr
Fri Oct 9 10:25:15 EEST 2015

Dear All,

For consideration in relation to homework 276, after discussion in the group of a first draft. A statement on attribution of responsibility for content of a knowledge base.

'All knowledge in an information system is introduced into that system by some human agent either directly or indirectly. Despite this fact, many, if not most, statements within such a system will lack specific attribution of authority. In the domain of cultural heritage, however, there are clear systems of responsibility for collection documentation and management, ideally specified in institutional policy and protocol documents. Thus, it is reasonable to hold that such not explicitly attributed statements respresent the official view of the administrating institution of that system. 

This is to not say that an information system represents at any particular moment a completed phase of knowledge that the institution promotes. Rather, it is to say that is represents a managed set of data that, at any state of elaboration, adheres to and strives to some explicit code of standards. So long as the information is under active management it remains continuously open to revision and improvement as further research reveals further understanding surrounding the objects of concern.

A distinct exception to this rule is represented by information in the data set 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 that 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.

In the case of an institution taking over stewardship of a database transferred into their custody, two relations of responsibility for the knowledge therein can be envisioned. If the institution accepts the dataset and undertakes to maintain and update it, then they take on responsibility for that information and become the default authority behind its statements as described above. If, on the other hand, the institution accepts the data set and stores it without change as a closed resource, then it can considered that the default authority remains the original steward.'

As a support to our discussion this morning.


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