Entities are primarily assemblages of catalog records intended to represent DWC:Organisms, but could easily be extended to other types of records and other types of assemblies.
Entities serve initially and primarily to provide a resolvable identifier for use as Organism ID.
Entity is the “core” table. Entities consist of a unique identifier (in the form of a URL) and a type. Entity type is controlled by ctentity_type
Entity assertions are metadata which clarify the Entity. An Entity can have any number of Assertions. Datatype is loosely enforced; Assertions are primarily intended as a discovery mechanism.
- assertion_type: controlled by ctentity_assertion_type
- assertion_value: text
- assertion_url: link to the assertion (in some form)
- assertion_remark: supporting comments
The simplest use case involves simply creating an Entity. Creation is available to authorized users after search results; users are expected to ensure that they are not creating functional duplicates. (True duplicates are prevented.)
This results in an Entity ID suitable for use as an Organism ID.
It is not possible to modify an Entity after creation, but a preferred alternative can be asserted.
Any number of assertions may be added. The edit form contains a method of pulling metadata for
Checks against “local” data are provided, including records wearing the Entity ID as Organism ID but not listed in the Organism:
And records listed which do not wear the identifier:
Catalog records bearing an Entity ID as Organism ID will link to the Entity, and provide a link to locate all other records which share the ID.
Find some “components.” We’ll use http://test.arctos.database.museum/guid/MSB:Mamm:269648 and http://test.arctos.database.museum/guid/DMNS:Mamm:13708.
Search for an Entity; make sure this doesn’t exist. Click Create.
Provide a name, pick a type, click.
You’ll get dumped on the edit screen. Enter the “components” as components, save. Value needs sorted out and documented; URL is the critical part of this.
Scroll down, click pull
You now have a workable “entity” and can be done. Optionally, provide more data.
Don’t forget to save, then return to the “detail page”
Click “copy” to get the ID into your clipboard.
Click the two “component” links to open the catalog records, add Organism ID
The process is now complete, and the edit entity form will provide comforting messages.
The Process: V2
Follow the directions
pick, type, click
paste in components
let it run, confirm
Choosing Organism ID
[ Consider moving this to Other ID documentation ]
Any string may be used as Organism ID. Some possibilities and their implications include:
Arctos Entity ID
Arctos Entities are currently our recommended Organism ID.
- Is a GUID (Globally Unique IDentifier)
- Is resolvable
- Bears metadata
- Easily tested for existence and suitability
- Is controlled by the Arctos Community
- Currently used only by the Arctos Community
Other Resolvable Identifiers
Other Resolvable Identifiers are more or less “anything with a URL.” These include WikiData, and potentially things like zoo records (should such come online). These are “good” identifiers by virtue of being globally unique and resolvable, but may vary wildly on attributes such as:
- control (including vandalism prevention)
- ability to carry metadata or form links to relevant data
- ability to be tested for existence or suitability
Non-resolvable Identifiers are strings, generally issued by some (perhaps unknown) Agent. These are generally “less good” identifiers in that they:
- are often represented in many forms (ABC123,ABC-123, ABC 123, …)
- can contain no mechanism to test for suitability
- can bear no metadata
- may or may not be unique
- USGS Bird Banding Laboratory numbers
- GAN numbers (zoo identifiers)
- Mexican Wolf Studbook numbers
- Collector numbers