Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) & Librarians

Miles and Perez-Aguera's SKOS: Simple Knowledge Organization for the Web introduces SKOS, a Semantic Web language for representing structured vocabularies, including thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading systems, and taxonomies -- tools that cataloguers and librarians use everyday in their line of work.

It's interesting that the very essence of librarianship and cataloging will play a vital role in the upcoming version of the Web. It's hard to fathom how this works: how can MARC records and the DDC have anything to do with the intelligent agents which form the layers of architecture of the Semantic Web and Web 3.0? The answer: metadata.

And even more importantly: the messiness and disorganization of the Web will require information professionals with the techniques and methods to reorganize everything coherently. Web 1.0 and 2.0 were about creating -- but the Semantic Web will be about orderliness and regulating. By controlled structured vocabulary, SKOS is built on the following features. Take a closer look at Miles & Perez-Aguera's article -- it's well worth a read.

(1) Thesauri - Broadly conforming to the ISO 2788:1986 guidelines such as the UK Archival Thesaurus (UKAT, 2004), the General Multilingual Environmental Thesaurus (GEMET), and the Art and Architecture Thesaurus

(2) Classification Schemes - Such the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC), and the Bliss Classification (BC2)

(3) Subject Heading Systems - The Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

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