The PREMIS Editorial Committee has been discussing whether and how
to allow the description of an Intellectual Entity in the PREMIS
Data Dictionary. Currently a PREMIS Object can link to an
Intellectual Entity but you can not use PREMIS semantic units to
describe the Intellectual Entity.
PREMIS defines Intellectual Entity as "a set of content that is
considered a single intellectual unit for purposes of management and
description: for example, a particular book, map, photograph, or
database. An Intellectual Entity can include other Intellectual
Entities; for example, a Web site can include a Web page; a Web page
can include an image. An Intellectual Entity may have one or more
The EC has had several requests to consider expanding the Data
Dictionary to include description of Intellectual Entities. We
identified a number of use cases for doing this, although not all
cases are equally strong.
1) A repository may want to represent an Intellectual Entity in
order to capture descriptive metadata for it, have business
requirements associated with it, show relationships, give high level
rights information, or record related events and/or agents.
2) The repository may want to represent a batch of files with
similar properties (e.g. environments) in order to avoid repetition
of this information. The files would not consitute a
3) The repository is sending a copy of an archived AIP containing
multiple representations to another repository (for example, using
the TIPR Repository Exchange Format) and wants to describe the
package as a whole, as distinct from each representation.
4) The repository may want to describe a complex event such as a web
5) The repository may want to distinguish intellectual file
properties from actual file properties.
6) The repository may want to capture versioning information at the
Intellectual Entity level for IE's such as articles or issues.
The EC's modeling showed that the most satisfying way of including
Intellectual Entity in the Data Dictionary was to treat it as a
fourth type of Object entity, along with Representations, Files and
Bitstreams. The advantages to this approach are:
Analysis has shown that nearly all of the semantic units applicable
to Representations also seem applicable to Intellectual Entities.
Of course, this changes the Data Model and requires a major revision
of the Data Dictionary. Version 2.1 of the Data Dictionary is
coming out very soon, and will not include any change to
Intellectual Entity. If we did add Intellectual Entity as a fourth
Object type, it would probably be issued some time in the future as
- It is
intuitively similar to Objects
Data Dictionary will be more compact.
- We can
simplify the Data Dictionary because we could drop links
could directly attach events, agents and indirectly rights
to intellectual entities
Before finalizing such a change, we would like to hear any comments
the community of PREMIS implementers may have. Do you see use cases
for describing Intellectual Entity in PREMIS? Are you comfortable
with defining a new type of Object Entity? Do you see semantic
units that apply to Representations that do not apply to
Intellectual Entities? Are there additional semantic units that
would pertain to Intellectual Entities that would be useful to
include in the Data Dictionary?
If you have comments, please send them to the PIG list ([log in to unmask])
so we can get some open discussion going on this.