Updated charter (proposed)

The Vocabulary and Semantic Services Interest Group (VSSIG) seeks to develop community-based approaches and recommendations to make knowledge organization systems (i.e. controlled vocabularies, ontologies, and their associated services) findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-usable (FAIR data principles).

Community and government standard controlled vocabularies or ontologies are used in metadata annotation and labelling data files to solve problems of ambiguity associated with data markup, also enabling records to be interpreted semantically and interlinked by computers and/or uses. This opens up data sets to a whole world of possibilities for computer aided-manipulation, distribution and long term reuse. However, these different resources often have a limited scope and outreach, as they are locked up in community “silos” and not easily discoverable outside of the initial community. The VSSIG may develop recommendations to address the needs of research communities and software developers for discovering and using multi-disciplinary controlled vocabularies and ontologies published on the web. The key challenge faced by this interest group is to break the barriers between the different community specific vocabularies and improve their findability. The interest group will address this challenge along three main axes: the discoverability of the existing resources; the interoperability of the existing resources at metadata level; the interoperability at the API level.

To tackle these issues, the Interest Group will welcome the support of all the stakeholders involved in semnatically annotated resources lifecycle in research domains: content producers; maintainers; and consumers. Discussion topics will include, but are not restricted to: vocabulary and dataset representation; discoverability; reuse; publication; curation; governance; interlinking and mapping; and open API description.

The goals of the VSSIG are supported by

  • EUDAT Semantics Working Group

  • Australian National Data Service (ANDS)

  • Earth Science Information Partnership (ESIP)

  • Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Naming Authority

These encompass communities such as earth and environmental sciences, social science, life sciences and space science,

Areas of Interest

  • Existing semantic resources (vocabularies, ontologies) from research data communities

  • Existing vocabulary/ontology repositories and services.

  • Strategies for vocabulary publication, including APIs and metadata descriptors, and a potential common framework for interoperability

  • Practices for vocabulary/ontology development and governance

  • Requirements for a multi-disciplinary catalogue of semantic resources.

  • Other ideas related to vocabularies and semantic services as they emerge.