Ontology Metadata Vocabulary - OMV

Tuesday, 18 September 2007


Ontologies are intended to be used as a shared means of communication between computers and between humans and computers. A core requirement for the achievement of this goal is the usage of open standards and technologies for the representation, description, access and exchange of the ontological sources. Consider, for example, the W3C standardized Web ontology language OWL. Using this representation language instead of a proprietary format would clearly increase the usability of an ontology at Web scale. The same applies for the means employed to describe existing ontologies or for the technological infrastructure supporting their management and exchange.

In contrast to plain Web documents, the majority of implemented ontologies are currently put into widespread use on the Web without any additional metadata information. This deficiency seriously affects the reusability of Semantic Web ontologies: without any metadata information potential ontology users can not find and deploy them effectively and efficiently. In order to cope with this problem, it is necessary to agree on a standard for ontology metadata, a vocabulary of terms and definitions describing ontologies. Replicating the positive experiences in other information management areas e.g. Digital Libraries, implementing such a vocabulary in conjunction with a solid technological infrastructure for creating, maintaining and distributing metadata is expected to increase the real value of ontologies by facilitating their wide scale sharing and reuse.