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A: Conceive your terminologyA1: Define your domainsA2: Identify your users' expectationsA3: Define your connection with the datamodelA4: Choose your termsA5: Organize your terms into a thesaurus structureA6: Find equivalent terms in other languagesA7: Implement your thesaurusB8: Validate your SKOSification


Choose your terms for each sub-domain you have defined previously (step A1: Define your domains), and deeper for each field of your terminology model. In every case, try to have a middle way between the high precision of an expert or professional vocabulary and the general use by the users you have identified (step A2: Identify your users' expectations).

  • 1. First of all, for each datamodel field you have selected, look at the vocabularies which are proposed either by default in the datamodel, or listed in a repository. Namely, look at their relevance for your users' expectations, and check how relevant it is for you to use and modify them. Afterwards you can decide:
    • a. Which vocabularies you will use directly with no change;
    • b. Which vocabularies you intend to use directly but after having modified and adapted them.
  • 2. Then, in the case you want to modify existing vocabularies and then to use them, follow the respective adaption processes related to all of these vocabularies.
  • 3. Finally, for each field you do not have terms yet, choose them by your own:
    • a. Either by finding a unique compromise term which is an authority (it means the expert term corresponds exactly to the generally-used term);
    • b. Or if you cannot find a compromise, by using two different terms as synomyns. You will define the relation in-between later (e.g. the expert term will be the descriptor or preferred term and the general term will be an alternative one).
  • 4. Particular cases:
    • a. For more precision, in the case of compound terms try as much as possible to get a root term which the compound terms will be related to.
    • b. Do not avoid terms because they are obsolete or forbidden forms, they may be used in a query and it is important to keep track of the history of your vocabulary.


The objective is to find the best set of terms for the semantic description of your digital resources. The more your set contains expert terms usable by your general users, the more useful and relevant for Web access and retrieval your descriptions will be.

The use of existing vocabularies like Getty thesauri can strongly help the retrievability of your objects on Europeana. However you have to check which of them are really relevant for your needs. Some of the existing vocabularies are free to use, even enrichable, but some others are not. A case by case checking is then necessary.

If you decide to use an existing vocabulary by modifying it, you have to follow the official adaption process. For all the cases if you do not find a relevant vocabulary for your specific needs, we invite you to create the terms by your own following the existing norms for conceiving a thesaurus (see the norms references given in A7: Implement your thesaurus). If you do so, do not forget that obsolete and forbidden forms can be used as terms in a query. So that it can be interesting to have them in your set of terms even if you will not make them really visible at the end (at the step A5: Organize your terms into a thesaurus structure and B3: Define with precision the labels expressing concepts).

You can consider that this task is over when after this task a set of test-users can say for each term what it refers to and how their test queries are fully satisfied.

For example

You are using LIDO as a datamodel and have identified the description fields "Place Information" and "Acquisition Information" as mandatory for your needs about locations and protocols of underwater discoveries. So you are now choosing the related terms for these two fields.

When you use LIDO, you have the possibility to use the Getty vocabularies. And among all the vocabularies proposed by Getty, you notice the one about the geographic names (TGN: Thesaurus of Geographic Names) which could be relevant for your needs about locations. After having looked at its content, you decide to use it in order to describe the locations of the underwater discoveries of your collection objects.

However you do not find among the by-default vocabularies proposed within LIDO a relevant one for the descriptions of the scientific protocols used for discovering. So for that field you decide to create your own list of terms: "Archive analysis", "Accurate underwater exploration of a zone", "Fortune"...

Methods and tools:

If you look for existing vocabularies, we advice you to search in the Athena WP4 inventory of resources available at: [1]

Here you can directly find Getty Vocabularies: [2]


We invite you to pursue the step by step process by going to the next step: A5: Organise your terms into a thesaurus structure.

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The different tasks we detail are:

  • A1: Define your collection domain(s)
  • A2: Identify your users' expectations about your semantic descriptions
  • A3: Define your connection with the datamodel
  • A4: Choose the terms for the semantic description of your digital resources
  • A5: Organise your terms into a thesaurus structure
  • A6: Find equivalent terms in other languages
  • A7: Implement your thesaurus

You can also navigate through the recommendations by using the synoptic map below. This map will be available on each page of the recommendations process. In order to know the name of a step in particular, just rollover and stay a bit on the very box so that the name appears.

A: Conceive your terminologyB: Make your terminology interoperableC: Link your terminology to a networkA1: Define your domainsB1: Evaluate how far SKOS is compliant with your main featuresC1: Definition of metadata on your terminologyA2: Identify your users' expectationsB2: Roughly SKOSify your thesaurusC2: Identification of resources for mappingA3: Define your connection with the datamodelB3: Define with precision the labels expressing conceptsC3: Mapping with other resourcesA4: Choose your termsB4: Identify your conceptsC4: Validation of the interoperabilityA5: Organize your terms into a thesaurus structureB5: Map your conceptsA6: Find equivalent terms in other languagesB6: Map your termsA7: Implement your thesaurusB7: Ensure the documentation of conceptsB8: Validate your SKOSification
This page was last modified on 3 June 2011, at 09:40.This page has been accessed 8,597 times.