A little provenance goes a long way

October 11th, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

PROV is a rich vocabulary that was designed to tackle a variety of use cases.   The Provenance Working Group worked really hard to design PROV to facilitate its adoption.  In our book, Paul and I provide many recipes to design, deploy, and use provenance in the context of a complex data journalism scenario.

However, we argue that identifying a resource, exposing its authors with attribution, and expressing what it  is derived from, already goes a long way towards a provenance-enabled Web.

Echoing Jim Hendler‘s quote  A Little Semantics Goes a Long Way, Paul and I conclude the ProvBook with a quote of our own:

A little provenance goes a long way

How could “we eat our own dog food” and express the provenance of this quote?

Simple, with the following Turtle snippet:

@prefix prov: <http://www.w3.org/ns/prov#>.
@prefix provbook: <http://www.provbook.org/>.

provbook:a-little-provenance-goes-a-long-way a prov:Entity;
prov:value "A little provenance goes a long way";
prov:wasAttributedTo provbook:Paul ;
prov:wasAttributedTo provbook:Luc ;
prov:wasDerivedFrom <http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~hendler/LittleSemanticsWeb.html>.

We have identified the quote, with url http://www.provbook.org/a-little-provenance-goes-a-long-way. For convenience, we provided a copy of the quote itself (using property prov:value). We identified Paul and myself as the authors. And finally, we gave credit to Jim, by indicating that our quote was inspired by his: this notion is called Derivation, and is expressed with the property wasDerivedFrom.

All these statements can be represented graphically. Yellow ellipses represent entities whereas orange pentagons represent agents in PROV; agents here are the authors of the quote.




Apply this motto in your own context, and publish simple provenance statements about your resources. Really, a little provenance goes a long way …


PROV Book – Available on Amazon

October 4th, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

Yesterday, Luc and I received our physical copies of Provenance: An Introduction to PROV in the mail. Even though the book is primarily designed to be distributed digitally – it’s always great actually holding a copy in your hands. You can now order your own physical copy on Amazon. The Amazon page for the book there also includes the ability to look inside the book. 

booksonshelf Prov Book Cover


— Paul