General Use Case Information

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Human Actors

System Administrator

  • Overall system administrator. Responsible for system-level software and hardware maintenance

Registry Manager

  • One or more persons responsible for the administrative tasks involved in the management of a registry
  • Authorizations:
    • Agent Administrator for all Agents
    • Vocabulary Administrator for all Vocabularies
    • Only role authorized to Delete Agents, Vocabularies, and Concepts

Agent Administrator

  • One or more persons authorized to maintain one or more Agent records. The user who registers an Agent becomes the Agent Administrator for that Agent
  • Authorizations:
    • Vocabulary Administrator for all Vocabularies owned by that Agent
    • Edit/Delete Agent Records (an Agent can only be deleted by an Admin if there are no associated Vocabularies)
    • Designate other Registered Users as Agent Admins
    • Register users and designate them as:
      • Agent Administrators for that Agent
      • Agent Contacts for that Agent
      • Vocabulary Administrator for individual Vocabularies owned by that Agent
      • Vocabulary Maintainers for individual Vocabularies owned by that Agent

Organization Agent Primary Contact

  • One or more persons acting on behalf of an Organization Agent, to whom notifications to the Organization may be sent.
  • Domain of email address must match the domain registered to that Agent

Vocabulary Administrator

  • One or more persons responsible for editorial functions related to one or more submitted vocabularies. The user who registers a Vocabulary becomes the Administrator for that Vocabulary
  • Authorizations:
    • Vocabulary Maintainer
    • Designate registered users as Vocabulary Maintainers

Vocabulary Maintainer

  • One or more persons responsible for maintaining a Vocabulary
  • Authorizations:
    • Edit Vocabulary properties and Concepts
Registered User
A Visitor who has registered himself/herself for the purpose of registering an organization or vocabulary. A Registered User may assume an additional role (Maintainer, Organization Contact, Agent Administrator) while registering an organization or vocabulary.
Anyone viewing or browsing the site who is not logged in, including registered Maintainers who have not yet logged in.

Non-human Actors

The registry software, including user interfaces, processing systems, and services
An interface intended to be used by machines that provides data in response to a request
Service Consumer
Machine requesting data from a service
Basically a term for for group of persons or an educational or business unit rather than an individual. For instance, an NSDL Project is an organization. In the current context the organization is also the entity responsible for the vocabulary. Vocabularies are associated with an Organization and maintained by a Maintainer who is authorized by the Organization. (Policy question?)


[Merriam-Webster] "a list or collection of words or of words and phrases usually alphabetically arranged and explained or defined" ; [In the context of this project] "A set of concepts, represented by words and word relationships, presented in a structured manner." [NOTE: the DC Abstract Model uses the term Vocabulary Encoding Scheme, defined as "A vocabulary encoding scheme is a class that indicates that the value of a property is taken from a controlled vocabulary (or concept-space), such as the Library of Congress Subject Headings"]
Hosted Vocabulary
A vocabulary whose canonical (official) version resides, or is "hosted" in the Registry.
Non-hosted Vocabulary
A vocabulary that is published (exposed) through the Registry but that is created and maintained by its promulgating agency in a separate registry or as a Web-addressable file in its own namespace.
DC Abstract Model "The generic name for a property (i.e. element or element refinement), vocabulary encoding scheme, syntax encoding scheme or concept taken from a controlled vocabulary (concept space)"
[from Wikipedia] "In computer science, specifically lexical analysis, a token is usually a word or an atomic element within a string. Tokenizing is systematically replacing portions of a string by such corresponding token"
Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS)
[from SKOS Home Page] "SKOS is an area of work developing specifications and standards to support the use of knowledge organization systems (KOS) such as thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading lists, taxonomies, terminologies, glossaries and other types of controlled vocabulary within the framework of the semantic web"
[from the OCLC PURL Home page] "A PURL is a Persistent Uniform Resource Locator. Functionally, a PURL is a URL. However, instead of pointing directly to the location of an Internet resource, a PURL points to an intermediate resolution service. The PURL resolution service associates the PURL with the actual URL and returns that URL to the client. The client can then complete the URL transaction in the normal fashion. In Web parlance, this is a standard HTTP redirect"

Vocabulary and Member Term States (Statuses?)

The state of a schema (element set or member property) or a scheme (vocabulary and or member vocabulary term) that has been created in the registry by a Maintainer but that has not been submitted to the Registry Manager (or delegate)
The state of a schema (element set) or a scheme (vocabulary and vocabulary terms) that has been submitted by a Maintainer and is under review by the Registry Manager (or delegate)
The state of a schema (element set or member properties) or a scheme (vocabulary and member vocabulary terms) that has been exposed to external human and machine agents through the registry
The state of a schema (i.e., element set or member property) or a scheme (i.e., vocabulary or member vocabulary term) the use of which is no longer advised, most often because it has been withdrawn or replaced. Deprecation is used to indicate that a particular schema (i.e., element set or member property) or scheme (i.e., vocabulary or member vocabulary term) is preserved for purposes of backward-compatibility, but should be phased out in the creation of future instance metadata. Deprecated schemas and schemes are never deleted.


WARNING - assumption alert!! Many of the use cases below make assumptions about yet-to-be-decided policies (as of 9/2005)

  • Schemas and schemes must be associated with an Organization that acts as the Entity responsible for the Vocabulary
  • Maintainers are individuals and they must be associated with an Organization in order to maintain an Organization's schemas and schemes
  • A Maintainer may be associated with more than one Organization and more than one schemas and schemes
  • Organization Contacts specifically authorize individual Maintainers to maintain a specific scheme or schema. Reasonable measures will be taken to assure the Registry and Registered Organizations against fraud and error. The workflow that seeks to ensure this is as follows: (1) user registers as the Organization Contact for schemas and schemes, (2) Organization Contact creates Organization record; (3) Organization Contact elects to perform the role of Maintainer or to register Maintainers. Once registered as a Maintainer, a person may serve the role of maintainer for more than one Organization.
  • Organizations must be able to be associated with an internet domain that will form the root of individual Vocabulary namespaces, or agree to allow the registry domain to substitute.