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Guidelines - Librarian


SWAD-Europe guidelines provide pointers into the parts of the SWAD-Europe project that we feel are particularly relevant to the concerns of particular industry segments or application area. They are not intended to be definitive guides to the wider semantic web resources relevant to the area.

Semantic Web and Digital Libraries

Libraries are a key component of the information infrastructure which underpins modern life. The provide a essential resource for the public and the specialist for reference and for research. For a introduction to Digital Libraries and the Semantic Web see: Theme on Digital Libraries.


Metadata is a key component of the provision of online catalogues which are searchable across the web. In order to use the Semantic Web to its best effect, metadata needs to be published in RDF formats. SWAD-Europe has not directly produced such formats. However, there are other initiatives which are involved with this, including:

Controlled Vocabulary

Controlled vocabularies or Knowledge Organisation Systems such as classifications or thesauri are the other key component for cataloguing and searching via subject classification. Tools and formats for representign and delivering such thesuari on the semantic web has been a major initiative of the SWAD-Europe project, with the work on the SKOS RDF format and API. See:

SWAD-Europe Thesaurus Activity.

We provide a set of standard formats and tools for describing controlled vocabularies and classifications called the Simple Knowledge Organistion System (SKOS). We also provide some sample thesauri which use these formats, and some demonstration software to allow people and programs to browse and select terms from a thesuarus across the web.

This work is now being taken up by the W3C Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment Working Group in their Thesaurus Taskforce. See the SKOS Homepage.

For more on KOS, see the Network Knowledge Organisation Systems , and their series of workshops.

Other activities in SWAD-Europe

There are many other activities in the SWAD-Europe project which are of interest to the Digital Librarian, particularly one interested in using the Semantic Web to in development projects ; we give a selection.

Other projects

There are many other projects and initiatives which are providing access to libraries across the web, some of which are using the Semantic Web directly, others behind the scenes. Some important ones include:

Other Links

See also Eric Miller's talk at 2001 European Conference on Digital Libraries 2001.