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This question came up at the last Editorial Committee call and we 
decided to test the waters by asking the PIG:  Should we use a different 
term for "representation"?

In PREMIS, a representation is defined as a "Digital Object 
instantiating or embodying an Intellectual Entity. A representation is 
the set of stored Files and structural metadata needed to provide a 
complete and reasonable rendition of the Intellectual Entity."  All 
semantic units in the PREMIS data dictionary are defined as appropriate 
to Files, Bitstreams or Representations.

The original working group used the term "representation" partly to 
avoid confusion with the FRBR term "manifestation".  The two concepts 
are close enough to cause confusion but not identical.  We were aware of 
the meaning of "representation information" in OAIS, but we thought the 
OAIS concept and the PREMIS concept were different enough that there 
would be no confusion.

I'm not sure that has been the case.  There does seem to be some 
confusion over what a PREMIS representation is, but I don't know if any 
of it is due to confusion with the OAIS representation.

In any case, it may not be wise to use the same term with two different 
meanings within the same (preservation) community.  So, should we try to 
come up with a different term for the PREMIS representation now, as the 
Data Dictionary is being revised?  Or leave it be, since nobody has 
actually complained about the term (that we know).

And those who think we should use another term, what term might be 
preferable?  I have thought of "rendition" but the US Government 
printing office uses that term in their FDsys with a different meaning, 
as an "Instance of a publication expressed using a specific digital 
format".  Something has to convey the idea that a representation may 
consist of more than one file, and that the files can have different 
formats.  Perhaps "assembly"?

p