Terminology registries for knowledge organization systems: Functionality, use, and attributes

Koraljka Golub*, Douglas Tudhope, Marcia Lei Zeng, Maja Zumer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Terminology registries (TRs) are a crucial element of the infrastructure required for resource discovery services, digital libraries, Linked Data, and semantic interoperability generally. They can make the content of knowledge organization systems (KOS) available both for human and machine access. The paper describes the attributes and functionality for a TR, based on a review of published literature, existing TRs, and a survey of experts. A domain model based on user tasks is constructed and a set of core metadata elements for use in TRs is proposed. Ideally, the TR should allow searching as well as browsing for a KOS, matching a user's search while also providing information about existing terminology services, accessible to both humans and machines. The issues surrounding metadata for KOS are also discussed, together with the rationale for different aspects and the importance of a core set of KOS metadata for future machine-based access; a possible core set of metadata elements is proposed. This is dealt with in terms of practical experience and in relation to the Dublin Core Application Profile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1901-1916
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number9
Early online date6 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • organization of information
  • subject indexing
  • online searching


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