From Semantic Web Standards

Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS)


SKOS is a common data model for sharing and linking knowledge organization systems via the Web.

Many knowledge organization systems, such as thesauri, taxonomies, classification schemes and subject heading systems, share a similar structure, and are used in similar applications. SKOS captures much of this similarity and makes it explicit, to enable data and technology sharing across diverse applications.

The SKOS data model provides a standard, low-cost migration path for porting existing knowledge organization systems to the Semantic Web. SKOS also provides a lightweight, intuitive language for developing and sharing new knowledge organization systems. It may be used on its own, or in combination with formal knowledge representation languages such as the Web Ontology language (OWL).

Recommended Reading

The official SKOS documents, published in 2009, include a SKOS Primer. The SWD Working Group, that published this Recommendation is now closed.

A number of textbooks have been published on RDF, RDFS, and on Semantic Web in general. Please, refer to a separate page listing some of those, as maintained by the community. That list also includes references to conference proceedings and article collections that might be of general interest.

Welcome to the SKOS community wiki!

This site is a collaborative space open to the entire SKOS community. It complements the official W3C SKOS web site and the SKOS mailing list.

It replaces replacing the old ESW SkosDev wiki, taking into account that SKOS is now an official W3C standard and has evolved since the SkosDev wiki was started.

Your contributions are most welcome!


Tools that are listed as relevant to SKOS

(Note that you can browse tools per tool categories or programming languages, too.)

Last modified and/or added

The description of the following tools have been added and/or modified most recently.

All relevant tools

This is a list of all tools listed on this wiki, and that are marked as relevant to SKOS.

  • Mobi (programming environment, development environment). Directly usable from Java, Javascript
  • Mulgara Semantic Store (triple store). Directly usable from Java

Note: if you are interested to add your tool, please consult the separate Tool Contributors’ page. This is especially valuable if your tool is only listed on the deprecated [tool page].

Additional material