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DCMI NKOS Task Group

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Marcia Zeng
Gail Hodge
Maja Žumer


The DCMI/NKOS Task Group targets to develop a Dublin Core Application Profile for KOS resources based on the work the NKOS group members have already done during the last decade. The application profile will be further tested by professionals and researchers. See also Web page.

Mailing List (DC-NKOS)

To join or leave:

DCMI/NKOS mailing list

Work in Progress Document (Go to sub-pages)

Functional requirements / User Tasks

  • KOS Metadata Users
  • KOS Metadata Use Cases
  • NKOS AP Core Attributes in the context of user tasks

The Domain Model and the Core Elements Overview

  • NKOS AP Domain Model
  • NKOS AP Entity Relationships
  • NKOS Attributes and Metadata Elements Overview

NKOS AP Elements Defined

  • Work
  • Expression
  • Manifestation

A KOS example

  • Modeling the ASIST Thesaurus' different versions and translations, using the Entity Relationships defined.

NKOS Vocabularies

  • KOS Relation-Type Vocabulary
  • KOS Types Vocabulary


(to be mapped to

[Syntax encoding guidelines]

Developing a Dublin Core Application Profile for KOS Resources


The term knowledge organization system (KOS) is intended to encompass all types of schemes for organizing information and promoting knowledge management. Different families of knowledge organization systems, including thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading systems, and taxonomies are widely recognized and applied in both modern and traditional information systems. Various types of KOS have been increasingly embodied as (Web) services to facilitate resource discovery and retrieval. Different agents, services, and applications need to communicate about KOS data in the form of transferring, exchange, transformation, mediation, migration, and integration. The information about a KOS, including its data model, type, protocol, status, responsible body, available format, affectivity, and other descriptive data are very important to terminology registries, service registries, vocabulary users (machine or human), and retrieval systems. At a minimum level, metadata for KOS resources will describe specific characteristics of a KOS, facilitate the discovery of KOS resources, assist in the evaluation of such resources for a particular application or use, and facilitate sharing, reusing, and collaboration of the KOS resources.

Currently there is no protocol for describing KOS resources. The DCMI/NKOS Task Group targets to develop a Dublin Core Application Profile for KOS resources based on the work the NKOS group[1] members have already done during the last decade. The application profile will be further tested by professionals and researchers.

Related to this DC Application Profile is a KOS Type vocabulary. It will include various types of KOS, defined based on characteristics such as structure and complexity, the relationships between concepts, and historical function.


Work Plan

The project will have two phases for development and testing/evaluation. The draft specification will include the application profile, the KOS Type Vocabulary, and related best practice guides.

Phase I: Development (since 2010)

  • Set up DCMI-NKOS Working Group, to involve experts and the community.
  • Review current research results derived from various projects of the NKOS group members.
  • Develop a functional requirements specification, outlining what kinds of functionality the application profile is intended to support.
  • Develop a simple entity-relationship model on which the application profile can be based.
  • Develop a Dublin Core application profile corresponding to the model.
  • Revise and finalize KOS Type vocabulary.
  • Online expert review period.
  • Revision of the AP and the KOS Type Vocabulary.
  • Report preliminary results and discuss at the NKOS Workshops.


Phase II: Testing/Evaluation (since 2011)

  • Develop AP Beta and the KOS Type Vocabulary Beta based on DC2010 workshop result
  • Conduct testing (self- and invited) at extended KOS resources registries and directories
  • Collect examples and develop a set of best practices guidelines for each of the properties in the application profile
  • Online expert and community review of whole specification (AP, Vocabulary, Best Practices)
  • Liaise with the DC Architecture WG to ensure overall compatibility with the DCMI Abstract Model
  • Release the final Dublin Core Application Profile for KOS Resources

Status: The vocabulary part of the AP is completed and namespace for each property is finalized. KOS Types vocabulary has gone through review.

Phase III: Alternating for RDFa and Microdata use (since 2013)

  • Test for being used by individual website of KOS to markup with KOS-AP properties.
  • Validate the abstract model, make necessary revisions.
  • Consider flexibility of properties for both literal and non-literal value use.

All work will be undertaken through a working group mailing list, face to face meetings at DC conferences and NKOS workshops, and a working Wiki.


Co-chairs of the Task Group

Marcia Zeng[of Information and Library Science],Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA[[2]]

Gail Hodge[International Associates], Inc. (IIa), USA

Maja Zumer, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia [[3]] (since 2013)

KOS Experts active in this task

  • Marjie Hlava, Access Innovations, Inc. USA [[4]]
  • Maja Zumer, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia [[5]]
  • Joseph Busch, Taxonomy Strategies, USA [[6]]
  • Joachim Neubert, ZBW Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, Hamburg, Germany [7]
  • Makx Dekkers, Independent Consultant, ADMS (Asset Description Metadata Schema) editor [8]
  • Diane Vizine-Goetz, OCLC Research, USA [[9]]
  • Doug Tudhope, University of Glamorgan, UK [[10]]
  • Traugott Koch, [former] Max Planck Digital Library, Germany [[11]]
  • Koraljka Golub, UKOLN, UK [[12]]
  • Marianne Lykke Nielsen, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Ahsan Morshed, Food and Agricultural Organization of UN (FAO), Rome, Italy [[13]]
  • Ziran (Liz) Zhang, Central-China Normal University, Wuhan, China
  • Wei Fan, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China [[14]]
  • & others who are active in NKOS activities.

Meeting Notes


Allinson, Julie, Johnston, Pete and Powell, Andy. (2007). 'A Dublin Core Application Profile for scholarly works'. Ariadne, vol. 50, January 2007. [[15]]

Golub,Koraljka and Tudhope, Douglas. (2008). 'JISC Terminology Registry Scoping Study (TRSS) report'. The report is published on JISC's TRSS project webpage. Revised 2009[[16]]

Hodge, G.; Salokhe, G.; Zolly, L.; Anderson, N. (2007). Terminology Resource Registry: Descriptions for Humans and Computers. Presentation at Integrating Standards in Practice, 10th Open Forum on Metadata Registries, New York City, NY USA, July 9-11, 2007. [[17]]

ISO/IEC 11179, Information Technology -- Metadata registries (MDR) [[18]]

Kendall. E. Metadata Support for OMG's Emerging Ontology & Vocabulary Management Initiative. Joint OOR-OntologySummit2008 Panel Discussion: "Developing an Ontology of Ontologies for OOR" [[19]]

Zeng, Marcia Lei and Gail Hodge. Developing a Dublin Core Application Profile for the Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS) Resources. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 37(4):30-34. [[20]]