SKOS: Requirements for standardization

Alistair Miles

Abstract


This paper poses three questions regarding the planned development of the Simple Knowledge Organisation System (SKOS) towards W3C Recommendation status. Firstly, what is the fundamental purpose and therefore scope of SKOS? Secondly, which key software components depend on SKOS, and how do they interact? Thirdly, what is the wider technological and social context in which SKOS is likely to be applied and how might this influence design goals? Some tentative conclusions are drawn and in particular it is suggested that the scope of SKOS be restricted to the formal representation of controlled structured vocabularies intended for use within retrieval applications. However, the main purpose of this paper is to articulate the assumptions that have motivated the design of SKOS, so that these may be reviewed prior to a rigorous standardization initiative.

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