"An entity is something that has a distinct, separate existence, though it need not be a material existence. In particular, abstractions and legal fictions are usually regarded as entities. " (Wikipedia, 2006).


The concept of entity is also used in Library and Information Science (LIS), for example in the theoretical foundation of "the Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records" (FRBR): 


"In the Entity Relationship model there are entities, relationships, and attributes. Entities are the objects of interest, defined at as high a level as possible, which serve as a focal point for a cluster of data elements. The individual data elements that would be associated with an entity are called attributes of the entity. For example, entities or the bibliographic things which concern us are works, representations, items, components, etc. Attributes of those entities include things like title of a work, date of a representation, barcode identification for an item, etc. Relationships among bibliographic entities include such things a derivative relationships, whole part relationships, sequential relationships, etc. For example, a second edition of a work has a derivative relationship with the first edition from which it is derived. " (Tillett, 1994).





Tillett, B. B. (1994). IFLA Study on the Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Records: Theoretical and Practical Foundations. http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla60/60-tilb.htm


Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2005). Entity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entity


See also: ElementsUnits in knowledge organization





Birger Hjørland

Last edited: 06-02-2007