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How to (easily) publish your ontology permanently: OnToolgy and w3id

Posted by dgarijov on January 23, 2017

I have recently realized that I haven’t published any post for a while, so I don’t think there is a better way to start 2017 than with a small tutorial: how to mint w3ids for your ontologies without having to issue pull requests on Github.

In a previous post I described how to publish vocabularies and ontologies in a permanent manner using w3ids. These ids are community maintained and are a very flexible approach, but I have found out that doing pull requests to the w3id repository may be a hurdle for many people. Hence, I have been thinking and working towards lowering this barrier.

Together with some colleagues from the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, we released a year and a half ago a tool for helping documenting and evaluating ontologies: OnToology. Given a Github repository, OnToology tracks all your updates and issues pull requests with their documentation, diagrams and evaluation. You can see a step by step tutorial to set up and try OnToology with the ontologies of your choice. The rest of the tutorial assumes that your ontology is tracked by OnToology.

So, how can you mint w3ids from OnToology? Simple, go to “my repositories tab:


Then expand your repository:


And select “publish” on the ontology you want to mint a w3id:


Now OnToology will request a name for your URI, and that’s it! The ontology will be published under the w3id that appears below the ontology you selected. In my case I selected to publish the wgs84 ontology under the “wgstest” name:


As shown in the figure, the ontology will be published under “”

If you want to update the html in Github and want to see the changes updated, you should click on the “republish” button that now replaces the old “publish” one:


Right now the ontologies are published on the OnToology server, but we will enable the publication in Github by using Github pages soon. If you want the w3id to point somewhere else, you can either contact us at, or you can issue a pull request to w3id adding your redirection before the 302 redirection in our “def” namespace:

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