Abstract: Information entities are used in ontologies to represent engineering technical specifications, health records, pictures or librarian data about, e.g., narrative fictions, among others. The literature in applied ontology lacks a comparison of the state of the art, and foundational questions on the nature of information entities remain open for research. The purpose of the paper is twofold. First, to compare existing ontologies with both each other and theories proposed in philosophy, semiotics, librarianship, and literary studies in order to understand how the ontologies conceive and model information entities. Second, to discuss some open research challenges that can lead to principled approaches for the treatment of information entities, possibly by getting into account the variety of information entity types found in the literature.
Keywords: Foundational ontology, information entity, YAMATO, DLP, IAO, CIDOC-CRM, FRBR