B1. EVALUATE HOW FAR SKOS IS COMPLIANT WITH YOUR TERMINOLOGY FEATURES
As a prolog of the technical SKOSification of your terminology, you must check if SKOS is fully appropriate to your terminology features. Your terminology has been designed for satisfying the users' needs you have identified at step A2: Identify your users' expectations. But SKOS may be uncompliant with some of these needs.
- 1. Check if in your thesaurus you have only independent descriptors (concepts or sub-domain names). If yes, SKOS is not necessary, an RDF representation can be enough.
- 2. Check if in your thesaurus you have a list of people names; If yes, you will need to specifically use FOAF in addition to SKOS.
- 3. Check if in your thesaurus you have a list of location names; If yes, you will need to specifically use SKOS paying attention to the hierarchy to be defined (geographical information versus political information)
- 4. Check if in your thesaurus you have a list of Institution names; If yes, you shall need to specifically use Vcard/hcards and FOAF in addition to SKOS.
- 5. Check if in your thesaurus subject lists you have different terms which differ from others only by the gender or the number. In this case you need to precise the gender or number relation between terms, you can use SKOS-XL as an extension of SKOS.
The objective is to SKOSify your thesaurus, that is, to make your terminology interoperable with a datamodel like LIDO, and consequently with Europeana. But before starting any procedure for converting a terminology into SKOS, you must have checked how far SKOS is the appropriate format considering the features of your terminology. In the case of authority files for instance, SKOS may not be the most appropriate format. We have listed five different cases in which SKOS has to be mixed with other formats.
- Semantic relations: Are the descriptors (then concepts) of the terminology can be linked together via semantic relations. => if the terminology only contains independent descriptors without any semantic relations, a SKOS modelization is not absolutely necessary, an RDF representation may be more convenient.
- People names: Is your terminology dealing with objects and abstract things that could be assimilated to concepts? Is the terminology dealing with persons? => if the terminology is dealing with persons and not objects or abstract things, a standard like (Friend Of A Friend) would be more apropriate. If the terminology is dealing with both of them, a mix of FOAF and SKOS could be interesting.
- Location names: Is your terminology dealing with locations names? => if the terminology is dealing with location names and not objects or abstract things, SKOS simple RDF can be used to model it.
- Institution names: Is your terminology dealing with Institution names? =>if the terminology is dealing with Institution names and not objects or abstract things, a standard like Vcards/hcards would be more apropriate. If the terminology is dealing with both of them, a mix of VCARDS/HCARDS and SKOS or OWL could be interesting.
- Gender and number relations: Is your terminology dealing with terms which differ the ones from the others by gender or number? => if the terminology is dealing with gender and/or number versions of terms, you can use the SKOS extension: SKOS-XL. Indeed SKOS-XL enables you to precise such relations between terms. More generally, SKOS-XL is useful when you want to link concepts and lexical resources by providing information about terms from the general language, out of the specialities.
In a terminology on architecture, suppose you have a term "stained glass" as part of a religious building. If you provide the equivalent term in French "vitrail", it may be relevant to provide also the plural form "vitraux" for query concerns. If you evaluate that the distinction between singular or plural form of a term and then a label is relevant for your terminology, you may use the SKOS-XL extension in order to provide specific information on each label rather than general information on a concept expressed by different labels.
If you intend to model an authority list with authors or people's names, you can have a look on the VIAF terminology. As this authority file is the result of the mapping of several terminologies from various institutions (mainly libraries), FOAF and SKOS format are combined. The website provide a multilingual display and the possibility to view the results of a query in RDF.
Methods and tools:
You may have a look on the website of the W3C for getting details on SKOS and the SKOS-XL extension.
Please also refer to the cases and requirements on SKOS defined by the W3C.
We invite you to pursue the step by step process by going to the next step: B2: Roughly SKOSify your terminology.
The different tasks we are going to detail are:
- B1: Evaluate how far SKOS is compliant with your terminology features
- B2: Roughly SKOSify your terminology
- B3: Define with precision the labels expressing concepts
- B4: Identify your concepts and validate the structure
- B5: Ensure the documentation of concepts
- B6: Map your concepts
- B7: Map your (multilingual) terms
- B8: Validate your SKOSification
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.