Linking Research

How to (properly) publish a vocabulary or ontology in the web (1 of 6)

Posted by dgarijov on May 27, 2013

Vocabularies and ontologies have been developed in the last years for modeling different use cases in heterogeneous domains. These vocabularies/ontologies are often described in journal publications and conferences, which reflect the rationale of the design decisions taken during their development. Now that everyone is talking about Linked Data, I have found myself looking for guidelines to properly publishing my vocabularies on the web, but unfortunately the required documentation is scattered through many different places.

First things first. What do I mean by properly publishing a vocabulary? By that I refer to making it an accessible resource, both human and machine readable, with documentation with examples and with its license specified. In this regard, there have been two initiatives for gathering the requirements I am trying to address in this tutorial: the 5-Star Vocabulary requirements by Bernard Vatant and the AMOR manifesto by Raúl García-Castro. Both of these approaches are based in Tim Berners Lee’s Linked Data 5 star rating, and complement each other. In this tutorial (which will be divided in 5 parts), I will cover possible solutions to address each of their requirements, further described below (quoting the original posts).

Requirements of the AMOR manifesto (A):

  • (A1) The ontology is available on the web (whatever format) but with an open licence
  • (A2) All the above, plus: available as machine-readable structured data (e.g., CycL instead of image scan of a table)
  • (A3) All the above, plus: non-proprietary format (e.g., OBO instead of CycL)
  • (A4) All the above, plus: use open standards from the W3C (RDF Schema and OWL)
  • (A5) All the above, plus: reuse other people’s ontologies in your ontology

– Requirements of the 5 start vocabulary principles (P)

  • (P1)Publish your vocabulary on the Web at a stable URI
  • (P2) Provide human-readable documentation and basic metadata such as creator, publisher, date of creation, last modification, version number
  • (P3) Provide labels and descriptions, if possible in several languages, to make your vocabulary usable in multiple linguistic scopes
  • (P4) Make your vocabulary available via its namespace URI, both as a formal file and human-readable documentation, using content negotiation
  • (P5) Link to other vocabularies by re-using elements rather than re-inventing.

The tutorial will be divided in 5 parts (plus this overview):

  1. Overview of the tutorial.
  2. (Reqs addressed A1(partially), A2, A3, A4, P1) Publishing your vocabulary at a stable URI using RDFS/OWL. (this post)
  3. (Reqs addressed P2, P3). How to design a human readable documentation.
  4. Extra: A tool for creating html readable documentation.
  5. (Reqs addressed P4). Derreferencing your vocabulary.
  6. (Reqs addressed A1 (partially)). Dealing with the license.
  7. (Reqs addressed A5, P5). Reusing other vocabularies.

16 Responses to “How to (properly) publish a vocabulary or ontology in the web (1 of 6)”

  1. Very interesting! I’m waiting to see the rest of the posts.

  2. Great idea for the series of posts Dani, putting the most important things in one place will be very helpful!

  3. […] How to (properly) publish a vocabulary or ontology in the web (1 of 6). […]

  4. […] How to (properly) publish a vocabulary or ontology in the web (1 of 6) […]

  5. […] Overview of the tutorial. […]

  6. […] Overview of the tutorial. […]

  7. […] Overview of the tutorial. […]

  8. […] Overview of the tutorial. […]

  9. […] Overview of the tutorial. […]

  10. Can you update the table of contents of this post with links to the parts? That way I can just point people to this introductory post. Thanks for your efforts?

  11. […] Overview of the tutorial. […]

  12. […] time ago, I wrote a tutorial with the common practices for publishing vocabularies/ontologies on the Web. In particular, the second step of the tutorial addressed the guidelines for describing how to set […]

  13. […] 2013 in einer Reihe von Postings, wie man Ontologien im Web veröffentlicht. Hier geht es los: How to (properly) publish a vocabulary or ontology in the web (1 of 6). Gibt es aktuellere […]

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