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Changing the GRSciColl model for staff members and contacts #379

ManonGros opened this issue Aug 30, 2021 · 7 comments

Changing the GRSciColl model for staff members and contacts #379

ManonGros opened this issue Aug 30, 2021 · 7 comments
GRSciColl Issues related to institutions, collections and staff


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ManonGros commented Aug 30, 2021

  • Right now, we have these “person” (staff) entities that can be linked to several collections and institution as contact.
  • One problem is that we have a lot of duplicates and it is difficult to clean up. Another issue is that it makes synchronizing with other systems quite difficult. Especially in the context of the GRSciColl master data management solution we are trying to develop: Define and implement the GRSciColl master data management solution #319

To solve that we would change the model: instead of having these staff entities, we would just have “contacts” for each collections. There wouldn’t be any cross linking. One person could be a contact for a collection with one email address and be a contact for a collection for another.

One advantage is that it would be less confusing, users handle contacts at the same time as they update collections (no need to add a staff entry first). And we wouldn’t have to worry about duplicates.

In summary, here is what would need to happen:

  • all the staff would be converted to contacts
  • the staff pages would disappear
  • the IH sync will have to be adapted to accommodate for it
  • the registry UI will have to change to allow creating contacts at the collection and institution level
  • suggestions need to be adapted
  • adapt the response for iDigBio
@ManonGros ManonGros added the GRSciColl Issues related to institutions, collections and staff label Aug 30, 2021
@ManonGros ManonGros changed the title Changing the model of GRSciColl for staff members and contacts Changing the GRSciColl model for staff members and contacts Aug 30, 2021
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Other benefits are:

  • It isn't unclear who can edit what. Currently staff would need to be editable by everyone, but then you can also meddle with other peoples contacts.
  • How do you know that it is the same Jack Johnson? There is no IDs other than a name and an email. In reality editors would probably be cautious and create new entities anyway.
  • The model has a field called position and responsibilities and email which is used to describe the persons position/responsibilities/email within this institution/collection. But that is likely to change between collections.
    • We could change that by having staff as a minimum entity and then have a join table that listed the responsibilities etc for the individual collections. But that would reduce the staff entity to a person. And that is probably better handled by OrcId or similar. So we might as well have contacts with an ID instead

What is the model for "contacts"
Above it says replace staff with contacts. Does that mean that we will use the contact model from datasets and publishers?
It sounds nice to have the same model for everything, but this is also a chance to rethink what works well.

Does that model fit well with GrSciColl? Types for example is a controlled list (I think) - that would have to be extended I suppose with new types?
Should we consider something like agents or is that a bad fit for this?

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Perhaps we could keep the fields used for Staff in GRSciColl?

I am not very familiar with the agents extension but it seems to be like this is more suited for record-level contribution. A lot of the attributes mentioned in the examples have a very fine grain: contribution to that image or identification of this specimen. I think it will be best to have this extension for GBIF records.

The way I imagined the contact new model is: who can answer questions about that collection? (or who can forward it to the relevant people). I don't think we can realistically do anything more granular.

Similarly, I don't think the GBIF contact types would fit here, there wouldn't be many/any TECHNICAL_POINT_OF_CONTACT or PUBLISHER: in practise everyone would be ADMINISTRATIVE_POINT_OF_CONTACT.
Looking at the contact types currently available, I can imagine that some people could be CUSTODIAN_STEWARD, CURATOR or PRINCIPAL_INVESTIGATOR but I don't know if that level of detail would be useful for the average user. Especially since the position would already give a lot of information about the different contacts (see the list of unique values we have for position on the GRSciColl staff:

Perhaps if we had to have a contact type (to fit with the dataset contact model), we could just have a default value.

What do you think?

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MortenHofft commented Sep 1, 2021

I believe below use cases from DISSCO and TDWG can be summarized as:

  • Contact information for the collection (for loans for example)
  • Give credit and visibility
  • Search for experts within a taxonomic field

Only the later requires a bit of consideration I would think? We can deduce something about expertise based on the collection that the person is listed under, but really this probably has to be a list of taxa that the person are an expert in. And we would ideally interpret that list to make it searchable.

This is the relevant use cases I could find from other documents. I thought it might be relevant when discussing the model for staff. Ideally we will want to be able to support below questions I suppose.

From ICEDIG report

which taxonomic expertise is represented by the staff of institutes.

And they have user stories as a table

As a I want to
Director Hire a curator with knowledge of specific groups
Citizen scientist Be recognized as contributor

I included the last one since that probably also applies to staff.

From TDWG cd use cases

Herbaria use the information included in IH about staff expertise to find individuals who can provide identification or evaluation of specimens of a particular group or region

The National Ecological Observation Network (6) has used IH to find taxonomic expertise

Natural Resource Managers use IH to find experts to identify species on federal lands

Fish and Wildlife used the email contact list for IH to send a questionnaire to all herbaria

Address and contact information ... The reader can get access to the specimen by contacting the collection manager
(from the original GrSciColl specs)

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marcos-lg commented Sep 2, 2021

The new suggested staff model will consist of a new contacts table that will be used only for GRSciColl (not shared with datasets, organizations, etc.). As in datasets, contacts won't be reused between several institutions or collections.

A GRSciColl contact might have these fields:

Field Description
position List
phone List
fax List
email List
address List
created creation date
modified modification date
taxonomicExpertise List
notes Free-text field. In the migration we'll merge in this field the areaResponsibility and the researchPursuits fields that currently exist in the GRSciColl staff entity
userIds List. It will have a type (ORCID, WIKIDATA, Researcher ID, HUH, ISNI, VIAF, IH IRN and OTHER) and the ID. The IH IRN is needed for the IH sync.
primary Boolean

Any other suggestion?

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MortenHofft commented Sep 6, 2021

taxonomicExpertise should also be lists I suppose? I imagine it being a list of taxa instead of free text. Does that matter for the name of the field? (I do not have a better suggestion)

position is a list in dataset contacts - should we keep that? it is a bit weird, but it makes syncing easier.

Dataset contacts have a type - which is really like a role? Which i guess is a bit like areaResponsibility.
I wonder if we should keep that distinction between position and role/type/responsibility?

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marcos-lg wrote: If we don't want it to be free-text, what values should we allow?

I still imagine it being text in the database

Regarding taxonomicExpertise
When we first discussed this I suggested a list like ["acacia", "flabellina", "aves"] instead of the current prose "I'm really good with birds, but I also like trees - especially acacia". Because the structured list would allow us to process it and find experts as in the listed use cases.

But both could work I suppose. One could also search the more unstructured prose. I just assumed we would get better results with a list of single taxa in latin.

@marcos-lg marcos-lg self-assigned this Oct 6, 2021
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Deployed to PROD.

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