3. The Decision Trees: Recommendations for Individual Properties

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To assist in the metadata term selection, this chapter provides decision trees for the properties included in each of the nine groups presented in the crosswalk table (refer to Section 2.2). Starting from the property that describes a resource instance, each flowchart presents decision points and gives a step-by-step solution to a given problem of metadata encoding.  At the end of each flowchart, there are alternative sets of metadata terms for selection. A data provider can highlight the decision path and mark the metadata terms to be used at the end.

The types of values associated with a metadata term may be two types (see also Appendix B. Explanation of Terminology):

  • literals (typically a string of characters; indicated by “string” in the flowcharts), or
  • non-literals (a value which is a physical, digital or conceptual entity; [1] indicated by “URI” in the flowcharts), depending on the requirements expressed in the namespace.

Text-based explanations corresponding to each of the flowcharts, with notes, steps, and examples, are also provided.

A flowchart is a diagrammatic representation that uses standardized symbols to portray steps and processes involved in decision making, with orders connected by flow lines with arrows.  The basic shapes used in the figures follow the flowchart conventions:

Figure 1. Flowchart symbols and meanings