WebSchemas/CreativeWork Relationships

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This is an archived WebSchemas proposal CreativeWork Relationships for schema.org. See Proposals listing for more. Note: active schema.org development is now based at github

CreativeWork Relationships Proposal

Status: Draft
Author: Richard Wallis


One of the topics we have discussed in the SchemaBibEx group has been properties to describe some relationships between CreativeWorks.

In several recent threads on public-vocabs there has also been mention of relationships between CreativeWork such as adaptionOf, isBasedOn, etc.

It is clear therefore that this topic is more broadly relevant than the bibliographic focus of SchemaBibEx

To help the discussion in this area I have produced a small list of these proposed properties for CreativeWork, which have CreativeWork as a range.

As it was assembled by trawling threads which I remembered included such mentions, it is almost certainly not a comprehensive list, it also includes some that are very similar in intention.

Comments on the list, omissions, suggestions are invited so that we can get some consensus around a hopefully small set, to cover many circumstances, to propose as additions to CreativeWork.

[RWallis 9-Feb-2014] List simplified and shortened to reflect discussions and progress towards an acceptable basic set of properties
[RWallis 30-May-2014] Separated into Proposals and potential proposals for descussion


The addition of properties to the CreativeWork Type to describe relationships between one instance of a CreativeWork or sub-type, and another CreativeWork or sub-type.

See the notes section below for supporting information for some of the proposed properties.

Property Expected Type Description Note
workExample CreativeWork Example/instance/realization/derivation of the concept of this creative work. eg. The paperback edition, first edition, or eBook. From SchemaBibEx proposal
exampleOfWork CreativeWork The creative work that this work is an example/instance/realization/derivation of. From SchemaBibEx proposal
basedOn CreativeWork A derivative of the content of the work. eg. The Musical West Side Story is based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
translationOf CreativeWork A related work that this work is a translation of.
hasTranslation CreativeWork A related work that is a translation of this work.



In the world of creative works there is need/desire for description at differing conceptual levels. A book for instance has many attributes such as title, description, author, genre, and related items such as reviews and citations, that are relevant regardless of any particular format or edition that it is available in. This style of description can be found in Wikipedia, some national library sources, review sites etc. There is also a similar need to describe individual examples of the book in different formats such as hard cover, paperback, ebook, from differing publishers and suppliers. This need arrises on retail sites, individual library sites, etc.

Benefit can be gained by relating these references together, both within an individual site and between sites.

Descriptive and review sites will benefit from identifying examples of the work (workExample) they are describing or reviewing for purchase, loan, download etc. Whereas retail and library sites could add value to their information by indicating that their individual items are examples of a work (exampleOfWork) more fully described elsewhere.

Example of live implementations of this can be seen in OCLC's WorldCat.org data:

  • A work description for My Experiments With Truth by Mahátma Gándhí - workExample relationships are near the end.
  • A page in WorldCat.org for a specific edition of My Experiments With Truth by Mahátma Gándhí - open the Linked Data tab at end of page to see what is also embedded in the page - note the exampleOfWork reference to the Work above.

The WorldCat data currently contains over 311 Million items linked to over 178 Million Work descriptions. There are projects underway that envisage other organisations providing eampleOfWork relationships to the WorldCat resources from their resources.


When describing relationships between translations of a work there is directionality between the original and its translation. In the broad environment of bibliographic resources it is very possible that the works in question will be described on separate sites.

Proposals for discussion

Proposals for discussion for potentially being added to the main proposal:

Property Expected Type Description Note
commonEndeavor CreativeWork CreativeWork the content of which can be thought of as arising from the same creative act that created this CreativeWork. From SchemaBibEx proposal
adaptionOf CreativeWork An adaptation of the content of the work. eg. Romeo and Juliet the movie is an adaption of Romeo and Juliet the play
alternateFormat CreativeWork A related work that is substantially the same as this work, but in another format. eg. The movie on DVD, Blu-ray, or via streaming. Book in large print or Braille. eBook for a different reader. Video with added sub-titles or sign language
representationOf CreativeWork A related work that is a representation of this work. eg. A picture of the Mona Lisa (c 1506) created in the 19th century is a representation of that painting. An image of a sculpture. A photograph of a mural. Derived from edm:isRepresentationOf



The term "commonEndeavor" represents a relationship between two entities whose content can be thought of as arising from the same creative act. commonEndeavor could connect two editions of a book, a book and a movie, a movie and game, a book and its translation, a hardcopy book and an ebook.