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Asset Description Metadata Schema (ADMS)

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SKOS used to publish the controlled vocabularies defined in ADMS on the Web

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SKOS, the Simple Knowledge Organisation System, is a common data model for sharing controlled vocabularies such as code lists, thesauri, and taxonomies via the Web in a machine-readable format. Recently, six new controlled vocabularies, specified as part of the Asset Description Metadata Schema v1.00 (ADMS), have been published on the Web using the SKOS vocabulary. 

The Asset Description Metadata Schema (v1.00) (ADMS) proposes six new controlled vocabularies (see Section 6), and specifies for each vocabulary and term corresponding term URIs (see Annex I):

  • Asset Type: e.g. “domain model”, “schema”, “taxonomy”;
  • Interoperability Level: e.g. “legal interoperability”, “organisational interoperability”, “semantic interoperability”, and “technical interoperability”;
  • Licence Type: e.g. "attribution", and "no derivative work";
  • Publisher Type: e.g. “company”, and “national authority”;
  • Representation Technique: e.g. “UML”, “XML Schema”, “Schematron”, “OWL”; and
  • Status: e.g. “completed”, and “under development”.

These six controlled vocabularies have been published as “Linked Data” on the Web using the data model of the Simple Knowledge Organisation System (SKOS). SKOS is a lightweight RDF vocabulary that allows representing the terms in a controlled vocabulary as instances of the class skos:Concepts. SKOS also defines properties for multi-lingual labels (skos:prefLabel),  associated codes (skos:notation), and definitions (skos:definition). The publication of controlled vocabularies represented in SKOS on the Web brings the following advantages:

  1. De-referencing: the principles of  Linked Data requires each term in the controlled vocabulary to be identified by a corresponding term URI based on the HTTP protocol. The term “Taxonomy” in the “Asset Type” scheme has for example the following term URI: <>. This means that when someone else encounters such a URI, he can look up its meaning by entering the URI in the address bar of his browser. This is called de-referencing.  This is simple yet powerful feature of the Web.
  2. Machine-readability: In the example of “Taxonomy”, the user can use the term URI to retrieve both a machine-readable and human-readable file containing definitions, labels, and related concepts for this term expressed in SKOS. SKOS is a W3C Recommendation and commonly used representation format for controlled vocabularies. Well-known controlled vocabularies such as EuroVoc have been expressed using an ontology that extends SKOS.
  3. Multilingualism: SKOS allows to associate labels and definitions in multiple languages to any concept. This means that we can associate the labels “taxonomie”@FR, “Taxonomie”@DE, or “taxonomia”@PT to the concept identified with URI to include the French, German, and Portuguese labels. At the moment, only English is available, but the ADMS Working Group is seeking help in translating these SKOS labels and definitions in multiple languages.

This tutorial explains how the ADMS controlled vocabularies were published in SKOS.


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