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This page describes the management (and issues around) of the prov namespace.

The namespace is:

Some requirements:

  • the namespace should dereference to appropriate serialization based on accept headers. Some examples
  • In the html page returned, we should provide a glossary of terms with appropriate links to the various specifications.
  • The html should be embedded with RDFa

Current Issues

Which owl should be returned when dereferencing

Solution 1: Merge all owl files into one namespace owl

Here the idea is that each note would maintain a separate owl file. For example sake let's use the following names:

  • ProvenanceOntology.owl - the file containing owl definitions of terms in prov-o
  • prov-aq.owl - the file containing owl definitions of terms in the paq
  • prov-dict.owl - the file containing the owl definitions of terms in prov dictionaries

The proposal would be that this would be merged into a single file

  • prov.owl

The single file would contain concatenated sections delimitated by comments e.g.

# ...
prov:Entity a owl:Class .
# ...
##This section of the prov.owl contains terms from prov-aq
prov:hasProvenanceService a owl:ObjectProperty .
# ...

In addition we would add provenance information identifying where the information was retrieved from

<> prov:wasDerivedFrom <> . 

Stian: Should not the above go to the OWL file from the timestamped REC?


  • Machine readable information for all terms in the namespace can be easily retrieved


  • Creates a monolithic file
  • Some provenance is lost
  • Confusing to know what is part of recommendation or not
  • Confusing which is the official recommendation, prov.owl or ProvenanceOntology.owl - gut instinct would be that the official is what you get from resolving namespace!

Solution 2: Use owl:import

Here we define a single owl file that imports the necessary information from all the separate owl files. Something like:

<> owl:imports <> .
<> owl:imports <> .

Stian: Should not the above URLs point to the OWLs of the timestamped REC and Note's folders?


  • Creates a simple file with clear distinction between which terms are defined by which notes


  • No simple dereferencability
  • Requires owl reasoning

Solution 2.1 Use owl:import, but merge PROV-O

This hybrid solution is a single OWL file with the content of ProvenanceOntology.owl (PROV-O) - but with the additional owl:imports for the modules. It will include provenance to the OWL of the official REC that it is derived from.

## Terms declared here are copied verbatim from the PROV-O recommendation
<> prov:hadPrimarySource <> .
# ...
prov:Entity a owl:Class .
# ...
## This namespace also covers terms from notes which
## don't form part of the PROV-O recommendation.
<> owl:imports <>,
               <> .


  • Distinguishes 'official' bit (PROV-O REC) from additional modules (notes)
  • Does not require OWL reasoning for official terms
  • Stronger metaprovenance


  • Requires OWL reasoning for notes.