Ontology:SKOS

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Ontology Overview

Name: SKOS
Description: SKOS is an area of work developing specifications and standards to support the use of knowledge organization systems (KOS) such as thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading systems and taxonomies within the framework of the Semantic Web.
Purpose: To enable easy publication of controlled structured vocabularies for the Semantic Web. SKOS provides a lightweight high level linking across multiple concepts. Use cases include:
  1. An integrated view to medieval illuminated manuscripts,
  2. Bio-zen ontology framework for representing scientific discourse in life science,
  3. Semantic search service across mapped multilingual thesauri in the agriculture domainSemantic search service across mapped multilingual thesauri in the agriculture domain.
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Justification SKOS seems to strike a good balance between very weak notions used in library science and the stronger extensional notons embodied in OWL and RDF set-based class theories. SKOS has been used successfully in several other high-level ontology efforts, notably UMBEL. Although shallow and formally weak, the SKOS concept suite is well designed, and the use of OWL notions such as transitive subproperties is well thought out and elegant.
Recommended by: Pat Hayes
Submitted by: MichaelUschold
Competency Questions:
Domains:
Scenario:
Known issues: Semantics of some existing URIs changed in the new version, be careful.
OntologyURI:

http://www.skos.com (350)

Licensing: stub
Web references:
Other references:

Long Description

The following description was borrowed from W3C sites describing SKOS.

Knowledge organization systems play a fundamental role in information structuring and access, e.g. for asset description or web site organization. Such vocabularies, coming in the form of thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading lists, taxonomies or even folksonomies, are developed and used worldwide, by institutions as well as individuals. However these very important knowledge resources are still mostly isolated from the outside world, and not widely used in implementing systems.

The development of new information technologies and infrastructures, such as the World Wide Web, calls for new ways to create, manage, publish and use these knowledge organization systems. It is especially expected that conceptual schemes will benefit from greater shareability, e.g. by being published via web services. In the meantime, the documentary systems which use them will turn to advanced information retrieval techniques to construct most of their semantic structure and lexical content.

SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System) provides a model to represent and use vocabularies and ontologies in the framework of the Semantic Web. A first version (SWBP-SKOS-CORE-GUIDE) has been produced by the Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment working group, and is already used in some research projects. The Semantic Web Deployment Working Group has been chartered to continue this work, and to "produce guidelines and an RDF vocabulary (SKOS) for transforming an existing vocabulary representation into an RDF/OWL representation".

In order to delimit the scope and elicit the required features for SKOS, the SWD working group has issued in December 2006 a call for use cases, asking for descriptions of existing or planned SKOS applications, according to a specific questionnaire. Following the gathering of these use cases, the Working Group has elicited a number of requirements for SKOS which are motivated by the previous work on SKOS, or by contributions received following the call for use cases.


Use Cases and Requirements Document

The SKOS Use Cases and Requirements document presents the preparatory work for the 2009 version of SKOS. It lists representative use cases, which were obtained after a dedicated questionnaire was sent to a wide audience. It also features a set of fundamental or secondary requirements derived from these use cases, that have been used to guide the design of SKOS.

See the SKOS use cases and requirements page the SWDWG wiki.


All comments are welcome on the following recommendations and may be sent to public-esw-thes@w3.org; please include the text "SKOS comment" in the subject line. All messages received at this address are viewable in a public archive.

Specifications and Documentation

SKOS Primer

SKOS PrimerW3C Working Draft 18 August 2009. Antoine Isaac and Ed Summers eds. news release

SKOS—Simple Knowledge Organization System—provides a model for expressing the basic structure and content of concept schemes such as thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading lists, taxonomies, folksonomies, and other similar types of controlled vocabulary. As an application of the Resource Description Framework (RDF), SKOS allows concepts to be composed and published on the World Wide Web, linked with data on the Web and integrated into other concept schemes.

This document is a user guide for those who would like to represent their concept scheme using SKOS.

In basic SKOS, conceptual resources (concepts) are identified with URIs, labelled with strings in one or more natural languages, documented with various types of note, semantically related to each other in informal hierarchies and association networks, and aggregated into concept schemes.

In advanced SKOS, conceptual resources can be mapped across concept schemes and grouped into labelled or ordered collections. Relationships between concept labels can be specified. Finally, the SKOS vocabulary itself can be extended to suit the needs of particular communities of practice or combined with other modelling vocabularies.

This document is a companion to the SKOS Reference, which gives the normative reference on SKOS.

Use Cases and Requirements

SKOS Use Cases and RequirementsW3C Working Draft 18 August 2009. Antoine Isaac, Jon Phipps, Daniel Rubin eds.

Knowledge organization systems, such as taxonomies, thesauri or subject heading lists, play a fundamental role in information structuring and access. The Semantic Web Deployment Working Group aims at providing a model for representing such vocabularies on the Semantic Web: SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System).

This document presents the preparatory work for the 2009 version of SKOS. It lists representative use cases, which were obtained after a dedicated questionnaire was sent to a wide audience. It also features a set of fundamental or secondary requirements derived from these use cases, that have been used to guide the design of SKOS.

This document is a companion to the SKOS Reference and the SKOS Primer, which respectively provide the normative reference on SKOS and a user guide for those who would like to represent their concept scheme using SKOS. See also Tutorials, Presentations & Papers and Translations.

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