Predicate Proposal - Member of

Value statement: the ‘member of’ predicate would allow golden to capture the relationship between a group/organization and its members. Many people, schools, and countries belong to multiple groups and consider that membership a significant part of their identity. Knowing group membership can be valuable to establish a connection between the member and the group is trivially valuable for a commercial user that ie wants to find members of a group, or understand an entity more deeply.

Definition: “The organization, club, or musical group to which the subject belongs. Do not use for membership in ethnic or social groups, nor for holding a political position, such as a member of parliament”

Tooltip definition of the predicate: “The organization to which the entity has membership in.”

Type of value: entity

# of accepted values: multiple

Constraints: Only accepts organizations

Citation Required?: yes

Also known as: participant in

Other considerations here:

Estimated cardinality of this predicate
1. How many different values can this predicate take on (approximation): if one assumes that there is one organization that people are members of for every 10 people and that there are around one billion entities Golden should have topic pages for, this predicate could take on an estimated 100 million values
2. This entity could apply to almost any ‘person’ entity (there are 1.7 million people currently on, and perhaps a billion entities that Golden could have entity pages for)

Estimated frequency of new values or changes: People tend to become members of a new organization once every few years. Some organization memberships are permanent, while others might be temporary and require it’s members to update membership status monthly/yearly.

Examples of proper use:
- ‘Iron man’ is ‘member of’ ‘avengers’ - avengers is an organization to which ‘iron man’ is known to belong
- ‘Oregon State university’ is ‘member of’ ‘pac 12’ - the pac-12 is an organization to which ‘oregon state university’ is known to belong

Examples of improper use:
- ‘Iron man’ is ‘member of’ ‘superhero’ - superhero is a social group, and thus this triple is not proper usage of the ‘member of’ predicate

Usage in wikidata:

Usage in

I think this makes sense for real organizations, but not sure about fictional entities.

  1. Do we want to include fictional characters at all as part of this predicate.

  2. What defines an “organization” in fiction. For this example of Iron Man and the Avengers:I don’t think that the Avengers are exactly an organization, they are a super hero team. Do we include teams, or other types of groups?

This seems perhaps a bit too general? Some of these are captured in different ways, like Universities that are part of the Big Ten (via “Affiliated with” predicate): Query | 15 results | Golden or for Universities, the “Accreditation” predicate captures which organizations do that: Query | 522 results | Golden

I definitely worry that this will get used in ways that we aren’t anticipating now but that (per a reasonable reading of these rules) would be allowed, and could really pollute query results to the point where they’re unusable.

Agree allowing fictional characters to be a ‘member of’ a fictional organization is not a priority. In the long term though, I would think this is fine as a fictional character being a member of a fictional organization seems easily understood and valuable to the ontology of fictional entities.

Wikidata has fictional entities that use the ‘member of’ predicate with a fictional organization as its value, too. ie Monkey D. Luffy - Wikidata

agree it could be too general. Maybe there are additional constraints we can impose in the description.

For distinction between this predicate and ‘affiliated with’ - it depends on our definition of ‘affiliated with’, but I think there are a number of cases where ‘member of’ and ‘affiliated with’ will represent distinct forms of a relationship. i.e. stanford GSB is affiliated with Stanford University, but is not ‘member of’ stanford university, which is consistent with wikidata Stanford Graduate School of Business - Wikidata. ‘Germany’ is ‘member of’ ‘European Union’ but is not ‘affiliated with’ European union, which is also consistent with wikidata Germany - Wikidata

So TL;DR I think ‘member of’ could offer a well-scoped and highly valuable relationship between an entity and a group its a member of that won’t be captured well by some existing predicates, but we should clean up this definition to prevent / mitigate it being used redundantly with another predicate like ‘affiliated with’.

Might be best to start with the ‘affiliated with’ definition and then revisit this proposal

Would this apply to entities other than people. e.g. France is a member of the European Union, IBM is a member of W3C?

Worth clarifying that this should not be used for employment relationships for which we have Current Employer Of.