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Concept help - Data Element Concept

A Data Element Concept defines an idea that could be recorded by data, without specifying how it would be stored or measured. Data Element Concepts are composed of an Object Class, which describes the thing of interest, and a Property that defines which attribute of the thing would be recorded. Data Element Concepts can be referenced by multiple different Data Elements that each specify the Value Domain used to record the data.

A data element concept represents the union of an Object Class and a Property. Examples of data element concepts include concepts such as, Persondate of birth, Personcountry of birth, and Personreligious affiliation.

A data element concept is solely a conceptual description and does not include values for measurement or collection. Values are described by a Value Domain, which in combination with the data element concept forms a Data Element.

A Conceptual Domain may also be associated with a data element concept, thereby providing meaning to the values associated with the concept. A one-to-many relationship may be formed between a data element concept and suitable conceptual domains.

ISO/IEC 11179-3 Section

Data_Element_Concept is a class each instance of which models a data element concept (3.2.29). A data element concept is a specification of a concept (3.2.18) independent of any particular representation. A data element concept can be represented in the form of a Data Element (3.2.28).

A Data_Element_Concept may have a data_element_concept_object_class association ( with zero or one Object_Class ( and a data_element_concept_property association ( with zero or one Property (

The combination of a Property (3.2.100) and an Object Class (3.2.88) provides significance beyond either that of the property or the object class. A Data_Element_Concept thus has a Definition ( independent of the Definition of the Object_Class or the Property.

Every Data_Element_Concept must have exactly one data_element_concept_domain association ( with a Conceptual_Domain (, where the Data_Element_Concept supplies a usage for the associated Conceptual_Domain.

Example: An association between the Data_Element_Concept "Person Country of Residence" and the Conceptual_Domain "Country".

Fields available on this metadata type

Field ISO definition
Name The primary name used for human identification purposes.
Definition Representation of a concept by a descriptive statement which serves to differentiate it from related concepts. (3.2.39)
Version Unique version identifier of this metadata item.
References Significant documents that contributed to the development of the metadata item which were not the direct source for the metadata content.
Origin The source (e.g. document, project, discipline or model) for the item (
Comments Descriptive comments about the metadata item (
Deleted The date after which the item has been soft deleted and is no longer visible in the registry
Object Class references an Object_Class that is part of the specification of the Data_Element_Concept
Property references a Property that is part of the specification of the Data_Element_Concept
Conceptual Domain references a Conceptual_Domain that is part of the specification of the Data_Element_Concept

Official Definition

Concept that is an association of a Property with an Object Class ISO/IEC 11179 - Clause 3.2.29