skos:scopeNote provides partial information about the meaning of a concept.
A scope note is a note that defines or clarifies the meaning of a concept as it is used in structured vocabulary. A preferred term used to label a concept may have several meanings in normal usage. A scope note may restrict the concept to only one of these meanings, and may refer to other concepts that are included or excluded from the scope of the concept being defined.
SKOS has more types of notes for concepts than ISO 2788: scope notes, definition notes, history notes, etc. These properties can be extended to fit specific requirements.
Semantic relationships are crucial for the definition of concepts, as many KOS guidelines emphasize. However, next to these structured characterizations, concepts sometimes have to be further defined using human-readable (“informal”) documentation, such as scope notes or definitions.
SKOS provides a skos:note property for general documentation purposes. Inspired by existing KOS guidelines, such as ISO 2788 or BS 8723-2, this property specializes skos:scopeNote, skos:definition, skos:example and skos:historyNote to suit more specific types of documentation.
skos:scopeNote provides some, possibly partial, information about the intended meaning of a concept, especially as an indication of how the use of a concept is limited in indexing practice.
Importantly, the hierarchical linkage between skos:note and its various specializations allows retrieval of all documentation associated with a concept in a straightforward manner. Each skos:definition is a skos:note, each skos:scopeNote is a skos:note, and so on.
In the Traditional Thesaurus
The title (“caption”). This is a statement of the topics represented by a notation in a classification scheme. A caption may have to be read together with its hierarchical context. It need not be as complete or self-contained as a scope note or even a preferred term in a thesaurus.
The division feature. This is an attribute by which a concept can be subdivided into a number of narrower concepts, each of which has a value distinct from that attribute
For example, in the following, “number of wheels” and “engine power” are the characteristics by which the concept “vehicles” is divided. They are shown in the node labels (vehicles by number of wheels) and (vehicles by engine power). Concepts in a matrix must be mutually exclusive, having distinct values of the splitting characteristic, although lower level concepts may appear under more than one. For example, hybrids such as mopeds (mechanically assisted pedal cycles) are, by definition, both mechanically propelled and human-powered. Therefore, they may be listed as narrower terms for both concepts, as shown below. In some cases, it may be appropriate to explicitly provide for such hybrids, as shown in the examples in the matrix. The note on scope should clarify whether a term such as human-powered vehicles should be used for exclusively or partially human-powered vehicles.