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---
id: subject
title: "Subject"
scopeid: eSSIFLab
type: term
typeid: subject
stage: draft
hoverText: "Subject (of some coherent data set): the (single) Entity to which a coherent data set relates/pertains, such as attributes, Claims/Assertions, files/dossiers, (verifiable) credentials, Partial Identities, etc."
glossaryText: "the (single) %%entity^entity%% to which a given set of coherent data relates/pertains. Examples of such sets include attributes, %%Claims/Assertions^assertion%%, files/dossiers, %%(verifiable) credentials^credential%%, %%(partial) identities^partial-identity%%, etc."
date: 20210613
---

### Short Description
The **Subject** of some coherent data set is the (single) %%entity|entity%% to which that data set relates/pertains. Examples of such sets include attributes, %%Claims/Assertions|assertion%%, files/dossiers, %%(verifiable) credentials|credential%%, %%(partial) identities|partial-identity%%, etc.

Note that without this data set, the use of this term is meaningless. Therefore, %%subject|subject%% must be seen as a relation (between a data set and an %%entity|entity%%), rather than as this %%entity|entity%% itself (as is commonly done).

Sometimes, the term 'subject' is also used in the meaning of 'reference to the (single) %%entity|entity%% [etc.]' or '%%identifier|identifier%% for the (single) %%entity|entity%% [etc.]' rather than the (single) %%entity|entity%% itself. We discourage such practices, and suggest to use the term 'subject identifier' in such cases.

### Purpose
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The term **subject** provides a generic way to link %%entities|entity%% that exist in the real (physical) world with %%knowledge|knowledge%% about them (e.g. characteristics, %%partial identities|partial-identity%% and such) that exists in the minds of various %%parties|party%%.