Simple knowledge organization system

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Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) is a family of formal languages designed for representation of thesauri, classification schemes, taxonomies, subject-heading systems, or any other type of structured controlled vocabulary. SKOS is built upon RDF and RDFS, and its main objective is to enable easy publication of controlled structured vocabularies for the Semantic Web. SKOS is currently developed within the W3C framework.


SKOS provides a standard way to represent knowledge organization systems using the Resource Description Framework (RDF). Encoding this information in RDF allows it to be passed between computer applications in an interoperable way.

Using RDF also allows knowledge organization systems to be used in distributed, decentralised metadata applications. Decentralised metadata is becoming a typical scenario, where service providers want to add value to metadata harvested from multiple sources. The SKOS Specifications are currently published as W3C Recommendations, which means that they are in stable state. MOre information on SKOS can be found here: