Issue 77: Identification Procedure

Starting Date: 
Working Group: 
Closing Date: 

The discussion in Monterey, Feb. 2002 about Natural History requirements for the CIDOC CRM identified the following:

Documentation structures for Natural History can be separated into ordinary collection management issues and the taxonomic discourse. The first seems to be covered completely by the CIDOC CRM version 3.2.

Of particular interest is the field collection information of specimen - location, habitat etc., and ecosystem level observations. Formalization of the latter (ecosystem structure) seems however to be beyond the practical scope of the CRM.

The taxonomic discourse can be separated into taxon creation, naming conventions and identification procedures. The group felt, that the taxonomic discourse of Natural History is very similar to that in archaeology, to a degree that virtually all underlying concepts can be found in both domains. However, the Natural History discourse is more standardized in terms and procedure, and the employed terminology is completely different.

The CIDOC CRM requires extensions to cater for the taxonomic discourse of Natural History, in a generic way, such that all cultural and Natural History taxonomic work can equally benefit from this model. The difference in terminology should be dealt with in the scope notes.

W. Berendsohn, A. Anagnostopoulos, G. Hagedorn, J. Jakupovic, P.L. Nimis & B. Valdes (Forthcoming). "CDEFD Information Model for Biological Collections", Proceedings of the European Science Foundation Workshop "Disseminating Biodiversity Information" (Amsterdam 25-27 March 1996).

Identification Process: 
The classification procedure or E17 Type assignment would be called "Determination" for genetically related living beings (normally at the species level). It includes both Systematic and Molecular identification. e.g. via gene bank. It should follow:
International Code of Zoological Nomenclature
International Code of Botanical Nomenclature

Determination usually works higher to lower rank within a determination tree. The determinator (person responsible for the determination) is its mark of quality. 
It is possible to have multiple determination of a single specimen. The procedure of the determination may be different. 

The following statements hold: 
Type Assignment assigns: T1 Type 
Type Assignment classified: CRM Entity
Physical Object IsA CRM Entity
Physical Object exhibits general feature: T26 Type
Physical Object exhibits feature: Physical Feature
Physical Feature has type: T26 Type
T26 Type is characteristic for T19 Type
Biological Object IsA Physical Object
Taxon IsA Type

Current Proposal: 

Determination is a case of E17 Type Assignement.
No model needed.

If a complete dialogue on features and Types should be modelled,

the property:
Physical Object exhibits general feature: Type

would complement
Physical Object exhibits feature: Physical Feature,and  T26 Type is characteristic for T19 Type would
allow to justify Types by registered general features.

The latter seems not to be done in current Natural History databases. The proposal is, that both properties are out of scope, but constitute a reasonable extension.

Monterey 22/2/2002.


Issue resolved by adding to scope note for E17 that determination is an example of Type assignment in the biological sciences (issue 97)

Proposal accepted, Copenhagen 2/7/2002.