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 digital 

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 representation.

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 craw.

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:

    * It is intuitively similar to Objects
    * The Data Dictionary will be more compact.
    * We can simplify the Data Dictionary because we could drop links
      such aslinkingIntellectualIdentifier
    * We could directly attach events, agents and indirectly rights to
      intellectual entities

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 Version 3.0.

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.