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Detailing provenance of entities

Table of contents

  1. Equipment used to create files
  2. Software used to create files
  3. Recording changes to RO-Crates
  4. Digital Library and Repository content

Equipment used to create files

To specify which equipment was used to create or update a Data Entity, the RO-Crate JSON-LD SHOULD have a Context Entity for each item of equipment which SHOULD be of @type IndividualProduct. The entity SHOULD have a serial number, manufacturer that identifies it as completely as possible. In this case the equipment is a bespoke machine. The equipment SHOULD be described on a web page, and the address of the description SHOULD be used as its @id.

{
  "@id": "https://confluence.csiro.au/display/ASL/Hovermap",
  "@type": "IndividualProduct",
  "description": "The CSIRO bentwing is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV, commonly known as a drone) with a LIDAR ... ",
  "identifier": "https://confluence.csiro.au/display/ASL/Hovermap",
  "name": "Bentwing"
}

Uses CreateAction and UpdateAction type to model the contributions of Context Entities of type Person or Organization in the creation of files.

In this example the CreateAction has a human agent, the object is a Place (a cave) and the Hovermap drone is the instrument used in the file creation event.

{
      "@id": "#DataCapture_wcc02",
      "@type": "CreateAction",
      "agent": {
        "@id": "https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1672-552X"
      },
      "instrument": {
        "@id": "https://confluence.csiro.au/display/ASL/Hovermap"
      },
      "object": {
        "@id": "#victoria_arch"
      },
      "result": [
        {
          "@id": "wcc02_arch.laz"
        },
        {
          "@id": "wcc02_arch_traj.txt"
        }
      ]
    },
  {
      "@id": "#victoria_arch",
      "@type": "Place",
      "address": "Wombeyan Caves, NSW 2580",
      "name": "Victoria Arch"
  }

Software used to create files

To specify which software was used to create or update a file, the software application SHOULD be represented with an entity of type SoftwareApplication, with a version property, e.g. from tool --version.

For example:

{
      "@id": "https://www.imagemagick.org/",
      "@type": "SoftwareApplication",
      "url": "https://www.imagemagick.org/",
      "name": "ImageMagick",
      "version": "ImageMagick 6.9.7-4 Q16 x86_64 20170114 http://www.imagemagick.org"
}

The software SHOULD be associated with the File (or other data entities) it created as an instrument of a CreateAction, with the File referenced by a result property. Any input files SHOULD be referenced by the object property.

In the below example, an image with the @id of pics/2017-06-11%2012.56.14.jpg was transformed into an new image pics/sepia_fence.jpg using the ImageMagick software application as “instrument”. Actions MAY have human-readable names, which MAY be machine generated for use at scale.

{
      "@id": "#Photo_Capture_1",
      "@type": "CreateAction",
      "agent": {
        "@id": "https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3545-944X"
      },
      "description": "Photo snapped on a photo walk on a misty day",
      "endTime": "2017-06-11T12:56:14+10:00",
      "instrument": [
        {
          "@id": "#EPL1"
        },
        {
          "@id": "#Panny20mm"
        }
      ],
      "result": {
        "@id": "pics/2017-06-11%2012.56.14.jpg"
      }
    },
    {
      "@id": "#SepiaConversion_1",
      "@type": "CreateAction",
      "name": "Convert dog image to sepia",
      "description": "convert -sepia-tone 80% test_data/sample/pics/2017-06-11\\ 12.56.14.jpg test_data/sample/pics/sepia_fence.jpg",
      "endTime": "2018-09-19T17:01:07+10:00",
      "instrument": {
        "@id": "https://www.imagemagick.org/"
      },
      "object": {
        "@id": "pics/2017-06-11%2012.56.14.jpg"
      },
      "result": {
        "@id": "pics/sepia_fence.jpg"
      }
    },

If representing command lines, double escape \\ so that JSON preserves the \ character.

If multiple SoftwareApplications have been used in composition, such as from a script or workflow, then the CreateAction’s instrument SHOULD rather reference a SoftwareSourceCode which can be further described as explained in the Workflows and scripts section.

Recording changes to RO-Crates

To record an action which changes an entity’s metadata, or changes its state in a publication or other workflow, a CreateAction or UpdateAction SHOULD be associated with a Data Entity or, for the RO-Crate itself, with the root data entity.

A curation Action MUST have at least one object which associates it with either the root data entity Dataset or one of its components.

An Action which creates new Data entities - for example, the creation of a new metadata file - SHOULD have these as results.

An Action SHOULD have a name and MAY have a description.

An Action SHOULD have an endTime, which MUST be in ISO 8601 date format and SHOULD be specified to at least the precision of a day. An Action MAY have a startTime meeting the same specifications.

An Action SHOULD have a human agent who was responsible for authorizing the action, and MAY have an instrument which associates the action with a particular piece of software (for example, the content management system or data catalogue through which an update was approved) which SHOULD be of @type SoftwareApplication.

An Action’s status MAY be recorded in an actionStatus property. The status must be one of the values enumerated by ActionStatusType: ActiveActionStatus, CompletedActionStatus, FailedActionStatus or PotentialActionStatus.

An Action which has failed MAY record any error information in an error property.

UpdateAction SHOULD only be used for actions which affect the Dataset as a whole, such as movement through a workflow.

To record curation actions which modify a File within a Dataset - for example, by correcting or enhancing metadata - the old version of the File SHOULD be retained, and a CreateAction added which has the original version as its object and the new version as its result.

{
    "@id": "#history-01",
    "@type": "CreateAction",
    "object": { "@id": "https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1009240" },
    "name": "RO-Crate created",
    "endTime": "2018-08-31",
    "agent": { "@id": "https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5152-5307" },
    "instrument": { "@id": "https://stash.research.uts.edu.au" },
    "actionStatus":  { "@id": "http://schema.org/CompletedActionStatus" }
},

{
    "@id": "#history-02",
    "@type": "UpdateAction",
    "object": { "@id": "https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1009240" },
    "name": "RO-Crate published",
    "endTime": "2018-09-10",
    "agent": { "@id": "https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5152-5307" },
    "instrument": { "@id": "https://stash.research.uts.edu.au" },
    "actionStatus":  {"@id":" http://schema.org/CompletedActionStatus" }
},

{ 
    "@id": "#history-03",
    "@type": "CreateAction",
    "object": { "@id": "metadata.xml.v0.1" },
    "result": { "@id": "metadata.xml" },
    "name": "metadata update",
    "endTime": "2018-09-12",
    "agent": { "@id": "https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5152-5307" },
    "instrument": { "@id": "https://stash.research.uts.edu.au" },
    "actionStatus": { "@id": "http://schema.org/CompletedActionStatus" }
},

{
    "@id": "#history-04",
    "@type": "UpdateAction",
    "object": { "@id": "https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1009240" },
    "name": "RO-Crate published",
    "endTime": "2018-09-13",
    "agent": { "@id": "https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5152-5307" },
    "instrument": { "@id": "https://stash.research.uts.edu.au" },
    "actionStatus": { "@id": "http://schema.org/FailedActionStatus" },
    "error": "Record is already published"
},


{
    "@id": "https://stash.research.uts.edu.au",
    "@type": "IndividualProduct",
    "name": "Stash",
    "description": "UTS Research Data Catalogue",
    "identifier": "https://stash.research.uts.edu.au"
}

Digital Library and Repository content

To describe an export from a Digital Library or repository system, RO-Crate uses the Portland Common Data Model (PCDM).

A Contextual Entity from a repository, representing an abstract entity such as a person, or a work, or a place SHOULD have a @type of RepositoryObject, in addition to any other types.

Objects MAY be grouped together in RepositoryCollections with hasMember pointing to the RepositoryObject.

The terms RepositoryObject and RepositoryCollection are renamed in RO-Crate to avoid collision between other vocabularies and the PCDM terms Collection and Object. The term RepositoryFile is renamed to avoid clash with RO-Crate’s File mapping to http://schema.org/MediaObject.

PCDM specifies that files should have only technical metadata, not descriptive metadata, which is not a restriction in RO-Crate. If the RO-Crate is to be imported into a strict PCDM repository, modeling of object/file relationships will be necessary.

For example, this data is exported from an Omeka repository:

{
   "@id": "https://omeka.uws.edu.au/farmstofreeways/api/collections/6",
   "@type": "RepositoryCollection",
   "title":  "Project Materials",   
   "description": [
      "Materials associated with the project, including fliers seeking participants, lists of sources and question outline.   "
   ],
   "publisher": {"@id": "University of Western Sydney"},
   "rights": "Copyright University of Western Sydney 2015",
   "hasMember": [
      {
         "@id": "https://omeka.uws.edu.au/farmstofreeways/api/items/166"
      },
      {
         "@id": "https://omeka.uws.edu.au/farmstofreeways/api/items/167"
      },
      {
         "@id": "https://omeka.uws.edu.au/farmstofreeways/api/items/168"
      },
      {
         "@id": "https://omeka.uws.edu.au/farmstofreeways/api/items/169"
      }
   ]
},
{
   "@id": "https://omeka.uws.edu.au/farmstofreeways/api/items/166",
   "@type": "RepositoryObject",
   "title": [
      "Western Sydney Women's Oral History Project: Flier (illustrated)"
   ],
   "description": [
      "Flier (illustrated) seeking participants for the project."
   ],
   "publisher": { "@id": "https://westernsydney.edu.au"},
   "rights": "Copyright University of Western Sydney 2015",
   "originalFormat": "Paper",
   "identifier": "FTF_flier_illust",   
   "rightsHolder": [
      "Western Sydney University"
   ],
   "license": { 
     "@id": "https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/"
   },
   "hasFile": [
      {
         "@id": "content/166/original_eece70f73bf8979c0bcfb97065948531.pdf"
      },
     ...
   ]
},
{
   "@type": "File",
   "@id": "content/166/original_eece70f73bf8979c0bcfb97065948531.pdf"
}