JSON-LD Working Group Charter

Since its original publication in 2014 by the RDF 1.1 Working Group, JSON-LD 1.0 has become an essential format for describing structured data on the World Wide Web. It is estimated to be used by between 10% and 18.2% of all websites. This is due largely to its adoption as a recommended format by schema.org. It has been adopted by several Recommendations including those from the Social Web, Web Annotation, and Linked Data Platform Working Groups, and current Working Groups have expressed interest in alignment of their specifications, such as the Publishing and Web of Things Working Groups. It has provided a much-needed bridge between communities that need rich semantics, and those that desire an intuitive and easily usable format (see separate wiki page for more details).

Subsequently the specifications have been discussed within, and errata have been maintained by the JSON for Linking Data Community Group. New issues have been raised, primarily around allowing JSON-LD to be expressed using more natural JSON idioms.

The mission of the JSON-LD Working Group is to update the JSON-LD 1.0 specifications to address specific usability or technical issues based on the community's experiences, implementer feedback, and requests for new features.

Join the JSON-LD Working Group.

Start date 15 June 2018
End date 15 June 2020
Chairs Rob Sanderson – The J. Paul Getty Trust
Benjamin Young – Wiley
Team Contacts Ivan Herman (0.1 FTE)
Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: 1-hour calls will be held weekly
Face-to-face: we will meet during the W3C's annual Technical Plenary week; additional face-to-face meetings may be scheduled by consent of the participants, usually no more than 3 per year.


The JSON-LD Working Group will update the JSON-LD 1.0 Recommendation to take into account new features and desired simplifications that have become apparent since its publication. The group will also extend the JSON-LD 1.0 Processing Algorithms and API Recommendation to update the existing APIs corresponding to changes in the JSON-LD Recommendation. Additionally, the group will move the Framing API CG specification to W3C Recommendation.

A summary of syntax changes proposed for inclusion by the JSON for Linking Data Community Group can be found on a wiki and in slides used at TPAC 2017.

The work must be consistent with principles expressed in the Data on the Web Best Practices Recommendation. All changes must preserve backward compatibility for JSON-LD 1.0 documents. This means that, when processing existing JSON-LD documents, JSON-LD 1.1 processors generate the same expanded output, unless that output is subject to errata in JSON-LD 1.0 or is otherwise an unspecified implementation detail.

Out of Scope

The following features are out of scope, and will not be addressed by this Working Group.

  • RDF Dataset Normalization
  • Linked Data Signatures

Success Criteria

In order to advance to Proposed Recommendation, each specification is expected to have at least two independent implementations of each of feature defined in the specification.

Each specification should contain a section detailing any known security or privacy implications for implementers, Web authors, and end users.

The group will maintain and advance the Test Suite allowing for continued testing of JSON-LD 1.0 implementations in addition to JSON-LD processors operating both in 1.0 and 1.1 modes.


More detailed milestones and updated publication schedules are available on the group publication status page.

Normative Specifications

The JSON-LD Working Group will deliver the following W3C normative specifications:


This specification defines JSON-LD 1.1, a JSON-based format to serialize RDF 1.1 Graphs and Datasets as used for Linked Data and in Web content. The syntax is designed to easily integrate into deployed systems that already use JSON, and provides a smooth upgrade path from JSON to JSON-LD, with as little additional cost as possible. JSON-LD 1.1 will extend the current JSON-LD 1.0 Recommendation while ensuring backwards compatibility.

The Working Group will handle all the errata filed for JSON-LD 1.0.

Finally, the documents will better align the JSON-LD and RDF terminologies wherever applicable and without jeopardizing backward compatibility with deployed JSON-LD 1.0 data. Detailed comparisons with other RDF serialization formats will also be included.

Draft state: Draft Community Group Report

Expected completion: Q2 2020.

JSON-LD 1.1 Processing Algorithms and API

This specification defines a set of algorithms for programmatic transformations of JSON-LD 1.1 documents. JSON-LD 1.1 API will extend the current JSON-LD 1.0 API Recommendation. The Working Group will also consider incorporating the widely used Framing specification into JSON-LD 1.1 API, rather than as a separate deliverable.

The Working Group will handle all the errata filed for JSON-LD 1.0 API.

Draft state: Draft Community Group Report

Expected completion: Q2 2020.

JSON-LD 1.1 Framing

This specification defines an extension to JSON-LD 1.1 Processing Algorithms and API that allows developers to query by example and force a specific tree layout to a JSON-LD document.

Draft state: Draft Community Group Report

Expected completion: Q2 2020.

The Working Group will also address the security, privacy, and efficiency issues (e.g., preventing the needs for unnecessary dereferencing) raised by handling @context files in the current JSON-LD 1.0 version, for example by providing ways to indicate the use of common syntactic profiles so that context-fetching can be avoided. These issues (and also some editorial considerations) may affect the HTTP protocol related sections, and the WG may decide to extract those issues into a separate Recommendation and/or Working Group Note.

The comparison sections on RDF serializations and related toolchains such as SHACL, Shex, and JSON Schema, may also be published as a separate Working Group Note rather than (non-normative) sections of the respective Recommendation.

Other Deliverables

Other non-normative documents may be created such as:

  • JSON-LD 1.1 examples specified in YAML.
  • Test suite and implementation report for the specification.


  • June 2018: First teleconference
  • September 2018: FPWD for JSON-LD 1.1 Syntax
  • September 2018: FPWD for JSON-LD 1.1 Processing Algorithms and API
  • September 2018: FPWD for JSON-LD 1.1 Framing
  • October 2018: First face-to-face meeting
  • June 2020: Recommendation for JSON-LD 1.1 Syntax
  • June 2020: Recommendation for JSON-LD 1.1 Processing Algorithms and API
  • June 2020: Recommendation for JSON-LD 1.1 Framing


For all specifications, this Working Group will seek horizontal review for accessibility, internationalization, performance, privacy, and security with the relevant Working and Interest Groups, and with the TAG. Invitation for review must be issued during each major standards-track document transition, including FPWD and at least 3 months before CR, and should be issued when major changes occur in a specification.

The work on JSON-LD may also reveal unnecessary complexities in the RDF 1.1 specifications. The Working Group may systematically submit errata in such cases.

Additional technical coordination with the following Groups will be made, per the W3C Process Document:

W3C Groups

Verifiable Claims Working Group
Coordination on named graph indexing and other concerns regarding support for normalization and digital signatures.
Schema.org Community Group
The Schema.org CG will be regularly solicited for reviews and comments throughout the advancement of the JSON-LD 1.1 Recommendation.


To be successful, this Working Group is expected to have 6 or more active participants for its duration, including representatives from the key implementors of this specification, and active Editors and Test Leads for each specification. The Chairs, specification Editors, and Test Leads are expected to contribute half of a working day per week towards the Working Group. There is no minimum requirement for other Participants.

The group encourages questions, comments and issues on its public mailing lists and document repositories, as described in Communication.

W3C Members are invited to join this Working Group. Individuals who wish to participate as Invited Experts (i.e., they do not represent a W3C Member) should refer to the policy for approval of Invited Experts. The group also welcomes non-Members to contribute technical submissions for consideration upon their agreement to the terms of the W3C Patent Policy.


Technical discussions for this Working Group are conducted in public: the meeting minutes from teleconference and face-to-face meetings will be archived for public review, and technical discussions and issue tracking will be conducted in a manner that can be both read and written to by the general public. Working Drafts and Editor's Drafts of specifications will be developed on a public repository, and may permit direct public contribution requests. The meetings themselves are not open to public participation, however.

Information about the group (including details about deliverables, issues, actions, status, participants, and meetings) will be available from the JSON-LD Working Group home page.

Most JSON-LD Working Group teleconferences will focus on discussion of particular specifications, and will be conducted on an as-needed basis.

This group primarily conducts its technical work on the public mailing list public-json-ld-wg@w3.org (archive) or on GitHub issues (and specification-specific GitHub repositories and issue trackers). The public is invited to review, discuss and contribute to this work.

The group will publish minutes for each teleconference at https://www.w3.org/2018/json-ld-wg/Meeting/Minutes/ .

Decision Policy

This group will seek to make decisions through consensus and due process, per the W3C Process Document (section 3.3). Typically, an editor or other participant makes an initial proposal, which is then refined in discussion with members of the group and other reviewers, and consensus emerges with little formal voting being required.

However, if a decision is necessary for timely progress, but consensus is not achieved after careful consideration of the range of views presented, the Chairs may call for a group vote, and record a decision along with any objections.

To afford asynchronous decisions and organizational deliberation, any resolution (including publication decisions) taken in a face-to-face meeting or teleconference will be considered provisional. A call for consensus (CfC) will be issued for all resolutions (for example, via email and/or web-based survey), with a response period from one week to 10 working days, depending on the chair's evaluation of the group consensus on the issue. If no objections are raised on the mailing list by the end of the response period, the resolution will be considered to have consensus as a resolution of the Working Group.

All decisions made by the group should be considered resolved unless and until new information becomes available, or unless reopened at the discretion of the Chairs or the Director.

This charter is written in accordance with the W3C Process Document (Section 3.4, Votes), and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (Version of 5 February 2004 updated 1 August 2017). 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.


This Working Group will use the W3C Software and Document license for all its deliverables.

About this Charter

This charter has been created according to section 5.2 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.