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The following text follows various discussions surrounding the notion of vocabulary conformance. It can be adapted to suit specific vocabularies but the wording captures the essentials:

  1. Conformance means using the vocabulary terms in accordance with their semantics;
  2. Conformance means using the vocabulary terms and not inventing new ones where the ones defined here could be used.

Conformance in terms of mandatory terms, controlled vocabularies as values for certain properties and so on is application specific. Additional bullet points may be added, particularly relating to a {vocab} profile, that are specific to the vocabulary in question.

Basic text

A data interchange, however that interchange occurs, is conformant with {vocab} if:

  • it uses terms (classes and properties) from {vocab} in a way consistent with their semantics as defined in this specification;
  • it does not use terms from other vocabularies instead of ones defined in this vocabulary that could reasonably be used (use of such terms in addition to {vocab} terms is permissible).

A conforming data interchange:

  • MAY include terms from other vocabularies;
  • MAY use only a subset of {vocab} terms.

A {vocab} profile is a specification for data interchange that adds additional constraints. Additional constraints in a profile MAY include (but are not limited to):

  • a minimum set of required terms;
  • classes and properties for additional terms not covered in {vocab};
  • controlled vocabularies or controlled sets of URIs as acceptable values for properties;
  • specific concrete protocols, formats, and syntaxes.