Web Annotation Current Status

This page summarizes the relationships among specifications, whether they are finished standards or drafts. Below, each title links to the most recent version of a document.

Completed Work

W3C Recommendations have been reviewed by W3C Members, by software developers, and by other W3C groups and interested parties, and are endorsed by the Director as Web Standards. Learn more about the W3C Recommendation Track.

Group Notes are not standards and do not have the same level of W3C endorsement.



Web Annotation Data Model

The Web Annotation Data Model specfication describes a structured model and format to enable annotations to be shared and reused across different hardware and software platforms to support a wide variety of simple as well as complex application use cases.


Web Annotation Protocol

Annotations are typically used to convey information about a resource or associations between resources. Simple examples include a comment or tag on a single web page or image, or a blog post about a news article.

The Web Annotation Protocol describes the transport mechanisms for creating and managing annotations in a method that is consistent with the Web Architecture and REST best practices.


Web Annotation Vocabulary

The Web Annotation Vocabulary specifies the set of RDF classes, predicates and named entities that are used by the Web Annotation Data Model. It also lists recommended terms from other ontologies that are used in the model, and provides the JSON-LD Context and profile definitions needed to use the Web Annotation JSON serialization in a Linked Data context.

Group Notes


Selectors and States

This document does not define any new approach to selection. Instead, it relies on existing techniques, providing a common model and syntax to express and possibly combine selections. The formal specification and the semantics originate from a separate Recommendation, namely the Web Annotation Data Model, where it is used to select targets of annotations. The current document only “extracts” Selectors and States from that data model; by doing so, it makes their usage easier for applications developers whose concerns are not related to annotations.


Embedding Web Annotations in HTML

This Note describes and illustrates potential approaches for including annotations within HTML documents. Examples also are included illustrating the use within an HTML document of annotation Selectors as fragment identifiers.