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Glossary

To ensure we cover a range of project styles, tools and methodologies, we use the following general terms across this website.

This website is supports the design of projects that involve collaboratively maintaining data. Those projects might involve the collection, management and use of different types of data, for a variety of purposes. Users might maintain that data using a variety of tools.

The projects might also be built using a range of different technologies and use different ways to store the data that is being maintained. For example they might use conventional relational databases, graph databases or other platforms.

To ensure we cover this range of styles, tools and methodologies, we use the following general terms across this website.

Change (or Changes)

A synonym for Entry (or Entries): a contribution that results in a change to the database. A change might involve adding a new record, updating an existing record or deleting a record. It might also involve changes to multiple records in one update. Making changes is a subset of the ways in which contributors can help with a project. We might use ‘change’ instead of ‘entry’ for clarity or, for example, to give patterns clear names.

Contribution

The process of participating in a project. Contribution might involve using the tools provided by a project to directly make changes to a database or review the work of others. But contributions might also involve discussing planned changes to a schema, training new users or helping to host and run events.

Contributors

The community of people who are participating in a project. We distinguish between contributors who are actively involved in a project and users who use the end product or service and consume the data.

Delete (or Deletion)

Removing a record.

Edit (or Editing)

Changing an existing record. For example, to add a new field or revise the value of an existing field.

Entry (or Entries)

A contribution that results in a change to the database. An entry might involve adding a new record, updating an existing record or deleting a record. It might also involve changes to multiple records in one update. Making entries is a subset of the ways in which contributors can help with a project. A synonym for ‘Change (or Changes). We might use ‘entry’ instead of ‘change’ for clarity or, for example, to give patterns more relevant names.

Field

A property associated with a record. For example the postcode of a building, the website for a company, or the time at which a bird was sighted.

Project

When we refer to ‘the project’, we refer to both the platform used to manage data as well as the team involved in maintaining it.

Record

A description of something that is held in the database that a project is maintaining. A record might be a building, road, a sighting of a bird or a description of a company. A record is made up of multiple fields.

Review (or Reviewing)

Checking entries made by other contributors, eg to spot errors, suggest improvements or to give feedback.

Schema

The specific types of records and fields that are managed by a project. For example a project collecting information about businesses may have a schema that includes a variety of fields for describing businesses (eg name, website, postcode) and several types of record (eg company, address).

Topic

A set of related records.

Users

The end users of the product or service. We differentiate between users, who are the data consumers, and contributors, who are actively involved in a project.

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