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SKOS: Simple knowledge organization for the Web

Introduction to SKOS

Page Contents

SKOS is an area of work developing specifications and standards to support the use of knowledge organization systems (KOS) such as thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading systems and taxonomies within the framework of the Semantic Web.


SKOS provides a standard way to represent knowledge organization systems using the Resource Description Framework (RDF). Encoding this information in RDF allows it to be passed between computer applications in an interoperable way.

Using RDF also allows knowledge organization systems to be used in distributed, decentralised metadata applications. Decentralised metadata is becoming a typical scenario, where service providers want to add value to metadata harvested from multiple sources.

Status & Development

The SKOS Specifications are currently published as W3C Recommendations, which means that they are in stable state. See the SKOS Home Page for up-to-date information on SKOS developments.

Community & Participation

All SKOS-related development work is now carried out via the mailing list which is a completely open and publicly archived mailing list devoted to discussion of issues relating to knowledge organization systems, information retrieval and the Semantic Web. A SKOS community wiki is also provided as a support for discussing and exchanging datasets, tools, recipes to solve identified issues...

See also the development & participation page.

External Links

The following links may also be useful ...