A little provenance goes a long way

October 11th, 2013 § 1 comment

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 …


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