Linked Data Platform Working Group Charter

The mission of the Linked Data Platform (LDP) Working Group, part of the Semantic Web Activity, is to provide standards to develop and deploy interoperable applications based on Linked Data. The scope of the Working Group is to provide profiles of existing Semantic Web standards, as well as to develop further W3C Recommendations in case the current standards do not cover needs arising in the area.

Public discussions about this charter

Start Date 1 May, 2012
End date 1 January, 2014
Confidentiality Proceedings are public
Chairs @@@
Staff Contact
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Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: weekly, plus possible task force calls.
Face-to-face: Participants should plan on 2 face-to-face meetings per year, but the chairs have authority to call or cancel meetings as needed to help the group reach its goals. These meetings will use teleconferencing facilities, but effective participation generally requires attending in person, so participants should budget for travel.


Semantic Web standards like RDF(S), SKOS, OWL, or SPARQL, provide a family of technologies that is used for many different applications, from possibly large-scale data and/or software integration to intelligent systems deployed on the server-side of Web-related applications. The variety of applications, and the large palette of requirements resulting thereof, means that the full Semantic Web Recommendation stack has a significant complexity, which is not always easy to understand and deploy. It is therefore necessary to look at this stack with a particular application area in mind, and possibly carve out subsets, “profiles” that are suitable for that specific development.

One major application and deployment area that has come to the fore in the past few years is Linked Data. A large numbers of datasets have been published in the form of Linked Open Data, covering such different fields as medical, governmental, or academic publication data. Similarly, Linked Data have appeared in the enterprise, possibly behind corporate firewalls, but following the same technical principles. Applications began to appear, and experiences begin to accumulate on the deployment and the usage of such an infrastructure. Linked (Open) Data have indeed some special features that influence how this data is deployed and used. Some of these are:

The goal of this Working Group is to provide a standard platform where users, developers, or data publishers can make an effective use of Linked Data without the requirement of using the full complexity of the Semantic Web stack, but rely nevertheless on interoperable specifications.


The goal of this Working Group is to provide a standard platform for the development of interoperable Linked Data applications. This goal is achieved by two different means:

  1. Specification of Linked Data profiles for the Semantic Web, i.e., the definition of subsets of the various Semantic Web standards that are particularly suited for Linked Data applications.
  2. Additional W3C Recommendations that cover particular technical needs that are not currently covered by other Semantic Web technologies and are necessary for interoperable Linked Data applications.
These two goals are discussed separately below. Within the scope defined in sections 2.1 and 2.2 below, the Working Group should reuse existing W3C standards, when they apply, in preference to defining anything new.

Linked Data Profiles

Linked Data Profiles mean to reuse parts the of existing Semantic Web standards that are particularly useful for Linked Data applications. These profiles do not add any new features to existing Recommendations; rather they define restrictions of usage, subset of features, etc., that applications referring to those profiles should abide to. Examples of such restrictions may be:

Note that these are only examples for some of the features that the Working Group may consider for Linked Data Profiles; the final list will be drawn up by the group.

Linked Data Profiles may also include advice on the usage of various public vocabularies (or subset thereof) to be used for Linked Data application. In view of the dynamic nature of vocabulary development, those advices would not be normative.

Note that this charter refers to Linked Data Profiles in plural; it is up to the Working Group whether one or several profiles will be defined.

Additional Technical Specifications

Applications of Linked Data have also identified a number of technical issues and features that are not covered by current Semantic Web Recommendations but are nevertheless necessary for the interoperable deployment of Linked Data. These are:

The Working Group will identify the details of these and possible other technical requirements and will publish W3C Recommendations to cover those.

Related to these items, the Working Group may also publish Working Group Notes. For example, a test suite for Linked Data server conformance checking. This note may also include requirements for a Linked Data checker.

Out of Scope

Several possible standards are out of scope for this group, such as those listed below:



Dependencies and Liaisons

W3C Groups



  • RDF Working Group: the RDF Working Group will be asked to check the validity of the Linked Data Profiles, to make sure that no technical discrepancies occur.
  • W3C Network Data Community Group: The use cases and requirement defined by that Community Group should also be used as input to the work of this Working Group.

External Groups


  • IETF Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) Working Group: in case the service description work results in new HTTP headers, these should be reviewed by, and coordinated with, the relevant IETF Working Group. The reference should be checked by those who have a better knowledge on the IETF work...


In general, people participate in this group as representatives of W3C member organizations. At least one representative from each participating organization is expected to devote significant time to this effort (about one day per week, or more, depending on duties), to accept and complete appropriate action items on a timely basis, and to travel to face-to-face meetings, as scheduled by the chairs, in consultation with the group.

On a case-by-case basis, using the invited expert process, people may be allowed to participate as individuals, not representing an organization.

To be successful, the Working Group is expected to have between ten and thirty active participants for its duration.

Participants are reminded of the Good Standing requirements of the W3C Process.


This group primarily conducts its work on the mailing list NAME-TO-BE-DEFINED@w3.org (public archives link to be added). The mailing list NAME-TO-BE-DEFINED@w3.org (W3C member-access-only archives link to be added) may be used for administrative purposes, such as travel planning.

Information about the group (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) will be available from the group's home page.

Decision Policy

As explained in the Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus. When the Chair puts a question and observes dissent, after due consideration of different opinions, the Chair should record a decision (possibly after a formal vote) and any objections, and move on.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for the Linked Data Platform Working Group has been created according to section 6.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Alexandre Bertails (bertails@w3.org), Sandro Hawke (sandro@w3.org), and Ivan Herman (ivan@w3.org), editors

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