3.5.1 Subject.

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Decisions related to various situations are numbered in the table and flowchart below. For each decision, find your situation according to the question and select an action.

Relation with a resource being described: Resource has subject/topic.



  • It is always recommended to index the concept/topic/subject/category of a resource. Examples of values include: concepts represented by terms from a controlled vocabulary; keywords; classes or categories represented by notations or labels from a classification system.
  • More and more controlled vocabularies are published as Linked Data where concepts are represented by non-literal values (i.e., an identifier and/or a http URI).  For example, each AGROVOC concept has its unique http URI.  LODE-BD recommends using these URIs instead of the literal forms (i.e., the labels) as values when considering moving towards publishing your data as Linked Data.

       Examples of values:

  • a concept URI of your own controlled vocabulary; 
  • a URI of a concept from a published thesaurus (e.g., EuroVoc) or classification (e.g., Dewey Decimal Classification);
  • a URI of an agent when the agent is the subject/focus of a resource (e.g., URI of a conference  defined in a foaf file, a URI of a person from VIAF).
  • Usually a value encoding scheme’s title (e.g., AGROVOC or LCSH) should be indicated along with the value.  Also when using literal forms than URIs, the language of the words should be indicated. (Consult references in the appendix if needed).

[1] From the Dewey Decimal Classification: “586 Seedless plants” (English version).

[2] http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_6599 is the URI of a concept in AGROVOC.  Its preferred English label is “Rice”.

[3] http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_5487 is the URI of a concept in AGROVOC.  Its preferred English label is “Pacific Islands”.

[4] http://id.loc.gov/authorities/sh85091984 is the URI of a concept in LCSH.  Its preferred English label is “Nineteenth century”.

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