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SKOS and Other W3C Vocabulary Related Activities. Gail Hodge Information International Assoc. NKOS Workshop Denver, CO June 10, 2005. Acknowledgements. Based on: Presentation by Alistair Miles of the Rutherford Laboratory at the OpenForum on Metadata Registries, April 2005.

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skos and other w3c vocabulary related activities

SKOS and Other W3C Vocabulary Related Activities

Gail Hodge

Information International Assoc.

NKOS Workshop

Denver, CO

June 10, 2005

  • Based on:
    • Presentation by Alistair Miles of the Rutherford Laboratory at the OpenForum on Metadata Registries, April 2005.
    • Input from Joel Sachs, Univ. of Maryland Baltimore Co. and the SPIRE Project.
    • Documents from the SKOS Web site.
what is the semantic web
What is the Semantic Web?
  • Semantic Web grand vision:

"The Semantic Web is an extension of the current web in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation."

  • … in practice:

The Semantic Web provides a common technological framework (i.e. URI, RDF, SPARQL, RDFS, OWL …) that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries.

  • Successful sharing and reuse requires an understanding of meaning.
relevant w3c semantic web activities
Relevant W3C Semantic Web Activities
  • Best Practices and Deployment Working Group

Chartered through January 31, 2006

Working drafts:

    • SKOS core related documents (vocabulary specification; guide; etc.)
      • SKOS Mapping Vocabulary
      • API for terminology web services
    • XML Schema Datatypes in RDF and OWL
    • Defining N-ary relationships on the semantic web: Use with individuals
  • Web Service Description Working Group 2

Chartered through January, 2006

Working Drafts

    • WSDL 2.0
    • SOAP 1.1 Binding
relevant activities contd
Relevant Activities, contd.
  • RDF Data Access Working Group

Chartered (roughly) till end of 2005

Working Drafts:

    • SPARQL Query Language for RDF
    • SPARQL Variable Binding Results XML Format
    • SPARQL Protocol for RDF

(written in WSDL 2.0)

  • Web-Ontology Working Group (closed)


    • The whole OWL family of documents (language overview; language guide; language reference; use cases; etc.)
skos core

An extensible RDF language for describing concepts and concept schemes …

… a concept scheme is a ‘set of concepts, optionally including relationships between concepts.’ …

… i.e. controlled vocabularies, thesauri, classification schemes, glossaries, subject heading systems, terminologies …

… e.g. AAT, DDC, AGROVOC …

owl vs skos core
OWL vs. SKOS Core
  • OWL is the language of the Semantic Web.
  • Why do you need SKOS if you have OWL?
  • SKOS Core …

… more flexible, less demanding approach to modelling concepts …

… better suited to types of KOS mentioned …

… requiring little or no remodelling to express in RDF …

… therefore low cost, while adding value through simple benefits of RDF/semantic web approach.

basic skos vocabulary
Basic SKOS Vocabulary
  • Skos:Concept Class (this resource is a concept)
  • Lexical Labelling Properties (associate concept with a name)
  • Symbolic Labelling (associate concept with symbols)
  • Semantic Relationship Properties (relationships between concepts)
  • Documentation Properties (definitions and change notes)
  • Subject Indexing (connecting an information resource to terminology, dc:subject)
traditional thesaurus to skos mapping
Traditional Thesaurus to SKOS Mapping
  • Concept gets a URI, not a name
  • Lexical Labeling = names (not new concepts)
    • Skos:prefLabel
    • Skos:altLabel (Used For)
  • Relationship Labeling between concepts
    • Skos:broader
    • Skos:narrower
    • Skos:related
  • Documentation such as Scope notes
    • Skos:scopeNote
    • Skos: definition
skos status
SKOS Status
  • Development history
    • Initiated by Semantic Web Advanced Development for Europe project (SWAD-E) in 2003
    • Public development process and open developer community
    • Driven by W3C Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment Working Group since 2004
  • SKOS Core status
    • 1st Public Working Draft May, 2005
    • RDF Vocabulary and Guidelines for KOS Conversion also available
    • Comments requested by end of June 2005
  • Standardization goal
    • W3C Working Group Note
    • W3C Recommendation track?
open issues understanding the limitations of skos
Open Issues: Understanding the Limitations of SKOS
  • Difference between SKOS Core and other RDF applications because modeling concepts adds another level of indirection
    • Properties are properties of the concept and not necessarily of the real-world thing
  • If two conceptual resources share the same meaning they are not necessarily the same resource
    • Meaning from definitions versus semantic context (relationships, labels, etc.)
  • Concept scheme versioning – use of Skos:inScheme property
  • HTTP URIs for Concepts (this is an open question for the Technical Architecture Group)
skos resources
SKOS Resources
  • SKOS Home Page

    • SKOS Core Guide
    • SKOS Core Vocabulary
    • Quick Guide to Publishing a Thesaurus on the Semantic Web
  • SKOS Mailing List

rdf xml using the uk archival thesaurus
RDF/XML Using the UK Archival Thesaurus





<skos:Concept rdf:about=””>

<skos:prefLabel>Economic cooperation</skos:prefLabel>

<skos:altLabel>Economic co-operation</skos:altLabel>

<skos:scopeNote>Includes cooperative measures in banking, trade, industry, etc. between and among countries.</skos:scopeNote>

<skos:broader rdf:resource=

3000”> [Economic policy]

skos:narrower rdf:resource=

3022”> [industrial cooperation]

<skos:narrower rdf:resource=

concept/3500> [Economic integration]

<skos:inScheme rdf: resource=>