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 lists, taxonomies, terminologies, glossaries and other types of controlled vocabulary within the framework of the semantic web.
There are three RDF vocabularies under active development: SKOS Core | SKOS Mapping | SKOS Extensions. There is also the SKOS API, a web service API for interacting with a KOS datasource.
The following specifications are under development within the W3C Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment Working Group:
SKOS Core provides a model for expressing the basic structure and content of concept schemes (thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading lists, taxonomies, terminologies, glossaries and other types of controlled vocabulary). The SKOS Core Vocabulary is an application of the Resource Description Framework (RDF), that can be used to express a concept scheme as an RDF graph. This document is a guide using the SKOS Core Vocabulary, for readers who already have a basic understanding of RDF concepts.
This document gives a reference-style overview of the SKOS Core Vocabulary as it stands at the time of publication. It also describes the policies for ownership, naming, persistence and change by which the SKOS Core Vocabulary is managed.
The Semantic Web, which is based on the Resource Description Framework (RDF), provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries. This document describes in brief how to express the content and structure of a thesaurus, and metadata about a thesaurus, in RDF. Using RDF allows your data to be linked to and/or merged with other RDF data by semantic web applications.
These three documents describe the SKOS Core Vocabulary, which is currently the most active development area - see the SKOS Core web page for more specific information, current status and links.
The SKOS Mapping Vocabulary and the SKOS Extensions Vocabulary are also open development projects, however these are less mature than SKOS Core, consult their web pages for more detailed information and current status.
An RDF vocabulary for describing concept schemes (thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading lists, taxonomies, terminologies, glossaries and other types of controlled vocabulary).
An RDF vocabulary for describing mappings between concept schemes.
An RDF vocabulary containing extensions to SKOS Core useful for specialised applications.
All SKOS development work is mediated via the Semantic Web Interest Group mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org. This mailing list is completely open and active participation is very welcome [subscribe]. There is also an online public archive of the mailing list and a SKOS development wiki.
All changes to any of the SKOS RDF vocabularies are reported on the SKOS Changelog.
Alistair Miles <email@example.com>