The Publications Office of the EU, in collaboration with other EU institutions and partners, have decided to use their expertise for the further development of the open-source thesaurus management tool VocBench and are planning the delivery of a new major version (3.0) of the tool. In the context of the ISA² Action on 'Promoting semantic interoperability amongst the European Union Member States (SEMIC)', a study was carried out to support the development of this new version.
VocBench is a free, open source, web-based, multilingual, editing and workflow tool that manages thesauri, authority lists and glossaries using SKOS-XL. Designed to meet the needs of semantic web and linked data environments, VocBench provides tools and functionalities that facilitate both collaborative editing and multilingual terminology management. It also includes administration and group management features that permit flexible roles for maintenance, validation and publication.
VocBench 3.0, building on the knowledge acquired from previous versions, aims to further advance in a collaborative platform for management of RDF thesauri (in SKOS / SKOSXL) and ontologies (OWL) with particular emphasis on Controlled Collaboration, Extensibility and Scalability.
The main objectives of the study were the following:
- Review high-level user requirements in the VocBench 3.0 proposal;
- Engage VocBench stakeholders to study and generate a more fine-grained list of user requirements, containing additional details about aspects foreseen in the VB3 proposal, as well as additional requirements not included in the proposal, which are still useful to define future evolutions of the system;
- Implicitly increase awareness and disseminate the tool’s new version functionalities and potential in all VBSs organisations, but more specifically in the EU-related stakeholders including: the Publications Office of the EU, the European Agency for vocational training, the European Agency for Security and Health at Work, the European Executive Agency for Education and Culture, the European Institute for Gender Equality, the European Environment Agency, the European Commission Library, the European Commission Informatics Directorate and the JRC Inspire Registry;
- Review the current VocBench system architecture; and
- Define the new technological stack to use for VocBench 3.0 taking into account the desired user requirements.