Monday, April 28, 2014

General, Reusable Metadata Ontology - V0.2

This is just a short post that a newer version of the general metadata ontology is available. The ontology was originally discussed in a blog post on April 16th. And, if you have trouble downloading the files, there is help in the blog post from Apr 17th.

I have taken all the feedback, and reworked and simplified the ontology (I hope). All the changes are documented in the ontology's changeNote.

Important sidebar: I strongly recommend using something like a changeNote to track the evolution of every ontology and model.

As noted in the Apr 16th post, most of the concepts in the ontology are taken from the Dublin Core ELements vocabulary and the SKOS data model. In this version, the well-established properties from Dublin Core and SKOS use the namespaces/IRIs from those sources ( and, respectively). Some examples are dc:contributor, dc:description and skos:prefLabel. Where the semantics are different, or more obvious names are defined (for example, creating names that provide "directions" for the skos:narrower and broader relations), then the namespace is used.

This release is getting much closer to a "finished" ontology. All of the properties have descriptions and examples, and most have scope/usage notes. The ontology's scope note describes what is not mapped from Dublin Core and SKOS, and why.

In addition, I have added two unique properties for the ontology. One is competencyQuestions and the other is competencyQuery. The concept of competency questions was originally defined in a 1995 paper by Gruninger and Fox as "requirements that are in the form of questions that [the] ontology must be able to answer." The questions help to define the scope of the ontology, and are [should be] translated to queries to validate the ontology. These queries are captured in the metadata ontology as SPARQL queries (and the corresponding competency question is included as a comment in the query, so that it can be tracked). This is a start at test-driven development for ontologies. :-)

Please take a look at the ontology (even if you did before since it has evolved), and feel free to comment or (even better) contribute.


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