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Topic 101 about the Asset Description Metadata Schema (ADMS)

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I decided to write “Topic 101” about the ADMS [Asset Description Metadata Schema] vocabulary to summarise its general idea.

The widespread use of syndication, like Really Simple Syndication (RSS) or Atom [1], has been a powerful force helping people to find news on the web in a complex multi-publisher environment. News publishers can make their news known to multiple websites with a link, a title and a small description of their news in a standardised format.  

The Asset Description Metadata Schema (ADMS) is a vocabulary which can be used in concert with syndication technology to help people make sense of the complex multi-publisher environment around semantic assets such as ontologies, data models, data dictionaries, code lists, XML and RDF schemas. Semantic assets are usually very valuable and reusable elements for the development of Information Systems, in particular, as part of machine-to-machine interfaces. As they are enablers to interoperable information exchange, these assets are usually created, published and maintained by standardisation bodies. Nonetheless, ICT projects and groups of experts also create such assets. There are therefore many publishers of semantic assets with different degrees of formalism. Despite of their importance, semantic assets are not easily discoverable on the web via search engines (metadata about the semantic asset is seldom available). Navigating on the websites of the different publishers of semantic assets is not efficient either.

ADMS [2] is a standardised vocabulary created by the ISA Programme [3] of the European Commission to help publishers of semantic assets to document what their assets are about (their name, their status, theme, version, etc) and where they can be found on the Web. ADMS descriptions can then be published on different websites while the asset itself remains on the website of its publisher (i.e. syndication of content). ADMS embraces the multi-publisher environment and, at the same time, it provides the means for the creation of aggregated catalogues of semantic assets and single points of access to them based on ADMS descriptions. The Commission will offer a single point of access to semantic assets described using ADMS via its collaborative platform, Joinup. The Federation service [4] will increase the visibility of semantic assets described with ADMS on the web. This will also stimulate the reuse of semantic assets by pan-European initiatives.

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More than 43 people of 20 EU Member States as well as from the US and Australia have participated in the finalisation of ADMS. Most of them were experts from standardisation bodies, research centres and the EU Commission. The working group used a methodology based on W3C’s processes and methods [5]. ADMS version 1 was officially released in April 2012 [6].

ADMS v1.00 will be contributed to the W3C’s Government Linked Data (GLD) Working Group [7]. This means that ADMS will be published by the GLD Working Group as First Public Working Drafts for further consultation within the context of the typical W3C standardization process. The desired outcome of that process will be the publication of ADMS as open Web standards available under W3C's Royalty-Free License.





[5] and Methodology for Core Vocabularies_v1.01.pdf

[6] Download now:



Geographic coverage:
amds, eGov, federation

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