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Use Case: interoperability between metadata standards describing resources of various types #223
Use case name
Status: draft / proposed
Creator: Mathias De Schrijver, Lieven Raes, Thomas D’Haenens, Stijn Goedertier
dcat meta service
data producer, data publisher, data consumer
At present, data providers in the public sector are using a wide variety of metadata standards to describe various resource types. For example:
Data publishers would like to continue to manage and describe resources of these types using the most appropriate metadata standards, while at the same time reaching the widest possible audience by converting metadata into a frequently used, cross-domain metadata vocabulary like DCAT for inclusion in DCAT-conform catalogs. The currently recommended version of DCAT defines dcat:Dataset as ‘A collection of data, published or curated by a single agent, and available for access or download in one or more formats'. If we want to support describing resource types that arguably do not meet this definition (e.g. services, documents, …), we may need to revise the DCAT class structure. One approach could be to provide a more general class than dcat:Dataset like 'Work' or ‘Expression’, taking for example inspiration from definitions in FRBR. In addition, it may be possible to define various sub-classes, like 'Document', 'Data Service', or perhaps even 'Software'.
Related use cases
Following last week's call, I tried to lay out some of the options here: https://github.com/w3c/dxwg/wiki/Cataloguing-data-services#alternative-views
Initially it seems the UC touches the general role of DCAT (and related profiles) as a possible shared standard used at interface level to establish interoperability among repositories while allowing for usage of legacy/internal standards within publisher's infrastructure. Definition of alternative resource types beyond "Dataset" is only one aspect among others. The topic would require a comparative analysis of the conceptual models and identify (in)compatibilities and possible mappings between the considered standards. UCs related to resource types exist already (you linked them), please consider clarifying/restating the UC, e.g. towards usage as a meta-standard at interface (not storage) level.
Thanks for looking into it, Jaroslav. Interoperability between metadata standards is a key selling point for DCAT and we were hoping to have it in the UCR document. The requirement that you derive from that to do a comparative analysis of conceptual models of metadata standards sounds perhaps strong; but some of that is actually done in the WG already. We will reword the UC to emphasize the interface-level interoperability; this is indeed the intended meaning. With regards to resource type, you are right, this is already covered in other UCs and addressed in Simon's proposals.