Suggested Dataset Attribution

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Sometimes it is desirable to provide attribution to data that is supplied by external parties. There are multiple ways this may be accomplished; one suggestion is to provide a set of standard attribution attributes. Our suggestion below follows the approach taken in the irON specification.

General Approach

The most general approach to handle attribution is via a set of dedicated attributes applied at the record level. This approach means that individual record (result) templates can capture the attribution in the most flexible manner. One way to accomplish this approach is through a set of standard attribution attributes, along with accommodation to display them in a result template.

Suggested Attributes

Though optional, it is suggested that the following attributes be reserved for providing attribution to external data suppliers. Not all attributes need be used in a given circumstance. Of course, you may also define your own alternatives, since these are not mandatory or required as part of the irON specification.

Attribution Attribute Discussion
sourceURL sourceURL is a URL reference to a Web page. The sourceURL attribute provides a link to the home or attribution page for a given external data supplier.

For example, this link could be a dedicated page that presents all of the use conditions as stipulated for that particular data supplier. Alternatively, it could be a simple link to an existing Web page of the supplier.

sourceIcon sourceIcon is a URL link to an image location stored on disk. It is recommended to keep these icons to a fixed size, say 16x16 pixels or 32x32.

The sourceIcon may be combined with the sourceURL to provide a live, clickable link using the image to the attribution page for that external data.

sourceText sourceText is a string associated with the "source" field in a data record attribution.

The sourceText may be combined with the sourceURL to provide a live, clickable link using the specified text to invoke the attribution page for that external data.

The string could be the name of the supplier of the data (such as Acme Data Supplier; or it could be a common, generic text link (when used in conjunction with sourceURL) such as data source.

Suggested Use

It is recommended to apply these attributions to results templates. Each record deserving attribution would be so characterized in its dataset. Then, depending on the presentation desired, and in accordance with the attribute options above, an attribution could take some of these possible forms:

Source: data source
Source: data source
Data provided by: Acme Data Supplier 

The initial labels above are part of the template specification.