Public release of Records in Contexts Conceptual Model 0.2

The ICA Expert Group on Archival Description (EGAD) is pleased to announce the release for public comment of the consultation draft of the Records in Contexts Conceptual Model v0.2 (RiC-CM 0.2). This replaces the preview version of RiC-CM v0.2, released December 2019. This consultation draft includes the introduction, diagrams and appendices that were absent from the preview version.

The consultation draft is intended to be used with Records in Contexts Ontology v0.2 (RiC-O 0.2) that was released in February 2021 (https://www.ica.org/standards/RiC/ontology) and that conforms to RiC-CM 0.2.

When completed, the standard will include an introduction to archival description (RiC-IAD), a conceptual model (RiC-CM), a formal ontology (RiC-O), and application guidelines (RiC-AG).

The second release of the draft of RiC-CM brings some significant changes. The changes are based on extensive feedback from the professional community as well as new reflections on the part of the Expert Group on Archival Description (EGAD).

The introduction has been substantially revised, giving more emphasis to RiC-CM’s changing approach to archival description, due both to new technologies and to the broader view of context with its implications for the understanding of records.

The Entities section has been completely revised. In the new version, entities are grouped hierarchically, starting from the root entity, thing, followed by the core entities of concern when describing archives (record resource, instantiation, and agent) and the supporting entities (event, rule, date, and place), which are then followed by the third and fourth level entities including the core entity activity and mandate entity.

Due to their shared nature, the record set, record and record part (formerly Record Component) entities have been grouped under the new record resource entity. A new entity, instantiation, has been introduced, to distinguish clearly between the intellectual content of a record and its representation on one or more carriers.  The former Function, Function (Abstract) and Activity entities have been replaced by a single entity, activity, which is defined as a kind of a newly introduced event entity. A new agent entity, mechanism, has been introduced in order to allow for the description of human technological proxies. The position entity has been redefined as a kind of agent, while family and corporate body have been identified as kinds of group agent.

What were called properties in the first release have been reconfigured as attributes; they are now listed together with definitions in a consistent format and by the entity with which they may be used.

The Relations section has been completely rewritten. The number of relations has been significantly reduced, resulting in seventy-eight relations, most of them having an inverse relation. The relations are now organized in a poly-hierarchical system. Also, each of them is defined in a consistent format. The definitions, when appropriate, cover both past relations as well as those that are ongoing. Many examples have also been provided to facilitate understanding and use.

RiC-CM v0.2 can be downloaded from https://www.ica.org/en/egad-ric-conceptual-model. It can also be directly accessed using the url https://www.ica.org/sites/default/files/ric-cm-02_july2021_0.pdf.

EGAD calls for comments on RiC-CM 0.2. The deadline for submitting comments is October 29, 2021. Detailed information is available here.