New: Structure of the workshop:
Sept 28th, afternoon: SKOS / Linked Data topics
Sept 29th, morning: Relation between Ontologies and (other) KOS; further topics


Traugott Koch (primary contact)
Max Planck Digital Library. F.-Haber-Inst., Faradayweg 4-6, F 1.03
D-14195 Berlin, Germany. Tel: +49 30 84133725

Philipp Mayr
GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
Lennéstr. 30, D-53113 Bonn, Germany. +49 - (0)228 - 2281 – 0

Douglas Tudhope
Faculty of Advanced Technology, University of Glamorgan,
Pontypridd, Wales CF37 1DL, UK

Supported by:
Marianne Lykke
e-Learning Lab - Center for User-driven Innovation, Learning and Design
Department of Communication, Aalborg University, Denmark

Duration: 1 day
Expected number of participants: 40

Extended abstract

We propose a full-day workshop of research projects and development related to next-generation Networked Knowledge Organization Systems/Services (NKOS) in digital libraries. This proposal builds on the well-attended NKOS workshops at ECDL 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. We would expect approximately 40 attendees at this workshop. The proposal is supported by the international NKOS network, its website and discussion list. Presentations are made available on the workshop website.

Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS), such as classification systems, thesauri, lexical databases, ontologies, and taxonomies, play an increasingly important role in digital information management and systems. Carrying semantics in a well controlled and documented way, Knowledge Organisation Systems serve a variety of functions: tool for representation and indexing of information and documents, knowledge-based support to information searchers, semantic road maps to domains and disciplines, communication tool by providing conceptual framework, and conceptual basis for knowledge based systems, e.g. automated classification systems.

Brief description of the workshop

The 10th European NKOS workshop at TPDL explores the potential of Knowledge Organization Systems, such as classification systems, taxonomies, thesauri, ontologies, and lexical databases. These tools attempt to model the underlying semantic structure of a domain for purposes of information retrieval, knowledge discovery, language engineering, and the semantic web. The workshop provides an opportunity to report and discuss projects, research, and development related to Networked Knowledge Organization Systems/Services in next-generation digital libraries. A further objective is to systematically engage in discussions in common areas of interest with selected related communities and to investigate potential co-operation.

TPDL (succeeding ECDL) is the established venue for reporting on European NKOS activities, complementing the US series of workshops. The workshop allows major projects to report results, newcomers to interact with established people in the field and discussion of topical issues, requiring consensus or coordination, including standards efforts, to take place. Thus previous workshops have seen focused discussion on early drafts of BSI and ISO KOS standards, the W3C SKOS standard, the interface between traditional Library Science vocabularies and Semantic Web efforts, social tagging and its relation to established vocabularies, KOS metadata and the different types of KOS. The TPDL venue affords participation by KOS researchers and developers from different perspectives (reflecting the different conference threads), such as KOS design and construction, API and service developers, user oriented issues, management of KOS in registries.

The continuity provided by the long series of NKOS workshops and its US partner events is the basis for reconnecting with important project and research endeavours at regular intervals, receiving updates on new directions, results and evaluations and, thus, is crucial for improving on and consolidating the common domain knowledge. People sharing our field of interest in the realm of private enterprise have been increasingly involved, especially through the call for demonstrations.

Workshop topics

  1. Relation between KOS and ontologies
    Exploring the relationship between formal ontologies, a type of KOS designed to support reasoning and other operations executed by computer programs, and KOS to support sensemaking by people. Is there a difference in content or just in presentation? Relationship of domain thesauri to upper ontologies such as the CIDOC CRM.
  2. From KOS to formal ontologies and back?
    Repurposing and reengineering of KOS (for other usage scenarios than indexing). The session should investigate, based on practical experiences, motivations and approaches of repurposing of KOS, the resulting varieties of formal ontologies, problems and potential benefits. An issue should as well be upgrades and benefits in the opposite direction, from “enriched” ontologies to the originating and contributing KOS.
  3. We aim to make these first two, interrelated topics, the main session of the NKOS workshop 2011. Together with the next two proposed topics below (no. 3-4), a clarification of these issues is on the agenda of both the ISO 25964 “Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies” standard development effort, relevant to part 2 of this standard that discusses e.g. mappings between thesauri and ontologies, and of several current research initiatives. The workshop intends, by bringing together experts from these contexts and, in addition, from people working with formal ontologies, to further practical co-operation and scientific discourse. If necessary, one or two presenters are invited, to make sure, that the relevant approaches are represented. Further timely and related topics in the CfP for submitted papers/presentations/demonstrations could be selected from:

  4. Management and integration of multiple vocabulary types, such as thesauri, terminologies, synonym rings etc.
  5. SKOS extensions. What extensions to SKOS would be needed to cover advanced mapping and vocabulary integration, additional KOS types and other actual requirements?
  6. Library Linked Data: Linking KOS data on the web. How can KOS contribute to move towards the linked data applications? What kinds of KOS-based services are needed to take advantage of linked data? How to keep the meaning of (disambiguated) terms in linked data? This is a topic of highest interest in the context of the W3C Incubator Group on Library Linked Data.
  7. A regular and important area of topics in NKOS workshops are applications of KOS. This year, one or more of the following are especially welcome:

  8. KOS in e-Science metadata contexts. The intersection between research data, KOS and Semantic web is in the focus here.
  9. Social tagging. What is the role of social tagging and informal knowledge structures versus established KOS? (How) can tagging be guided and informed by KOS? The possible contribution of social tagging and informal knowledge structures to constructing and augmenting established KOS. Implications for social search.
  10. Design and implementation of KOS for extended roles in networked systems; roles, such as access points in information retrieval, description and understanding of content, tool for personalization or automated categorization.
  11. Users interaction with KOS in the networked environment.
  12. Quality issues in web-based KOS. How to identify and detect shortcomings in data quality and what to do to improve KOS on the web?
  13. KOS and learning. What is required to use KOS effectively to convey meaning, to assist users to express their information needs to assist in sensemaking and learning?

Workshop structure

An open call for papers and demonstrations (April 10, submission deadline June 26, notification July 17) will be combined with selected invitations from major projects. The workshop is planned to consist of an introduction, technical presentations, demonstrations, and a concluding directed discussion. The program committee will assist the review process as first-tier reviewers. The organisers will coordinate the process. The organisers and program committee will promote the workshop through their various contacts and discussion lists.

Indicative agenda structure, covering approximately 8 hours, including lunch and breaks:

  • Session 1: Welcome, introduction, mutual presentations (hrs 0:30)
  • Session 2: Presentations on the main themes (hrs: 2)
  • Session 3: Directed discussion emerging from the main session (hrs: 1)
  • Session 4: Presentations of submitted papers on timely and related topics acc. to the CfP, incl. demonstrations (hrs: 2)
  • Session 5: Directed discussion emerging from the session 4 (hrs 1)
  • Session 6: Concluding short communications and directed discussion, including options for co-operation (hrs 0.30)

Supporting material for the workshop would, following standard NKOS practice, be available via the NKOS website. This would include abstracts of presentations, information on participants, list of resources, projects and plans for the workshop before the conference. After the workshop, copies of presentations will be made available on the website and via the main NKOS network website.

Previous NKOS workshops have resulted in journal special issues (see References). Authors presenting significant results at the workshop will be encouraged to submit papers for consideration in future issues of the International Journal on Digital Libraries (IJDL – Koch is a member of the Editorial Board) and the New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia (Tudhope is Editor, Koch and Lykke are on the Editorial Board) depending on the candidate papers.

Program committee (to be confirmed)

  • Ron Davies, Information Consultant, Brussels, Belgium
  • Stella Dextre Clarke, Information Consultant, Luke House, Wantage, UK
  • Claudio Gnoli, University of Pavia, Italy
  • Koraljka Golub, UKOLN, Bath, UK
  • Bernhard Haslhofer, University of Vienna, Austria
  • Gail Hodge, Information International Associates, Inc., USA
  • Antoine Isaac, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and National Library of the Netherlands, The Netherlands
  • Eva Mendez, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain
  • Vivien Petras, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
  • Aida Slavic, UDC Consortium, London, UK
  • Dagobert Soergel, University of Buffalo, USA
  • Joseph Tennis, Information School, University of Washington, USA
  • Diane Vizine-Goetz, OCLC Research, USA
  • Marcia Zeng, Kent State University, USA

Technical requirements

The usual PC and projector, 2-3 side tables for demonstrations if possible, Internet connections.

Expected participants

  • Digital library and information infrastructure developers
  • Resource discovery service providers (search engines, directories, subject gateways, portals, repositories etc.)
  • Metadata professionals, designers and researchers
  • Information scientists, library, museum and archive professionals
  • Thesaurus, taxonomy and ontology developers
  • Standard developers in the area of terminology usage and exchange
  • Computer scientists interested in semantic web/grid issues, linked data, topic maps, XML/RDF technologies, web engineering, peer-to-peer researchers
  • User interface designers for KOS and Semantic Web applications
  • Social tagging and community-based application developers and users
  • Language engineering and terminology studies researchers and developers
  • Knowledge managers

References from past NKOS Workshops at ECDL

Workshop organisers (short CVs)

Traugott Koch is Interoperability, Metadata and Research Officer at Max Planck Digital Library, Berlin. During his 21 years at Lund University, Sweden, he co-founded 1992 the Digital Library development department NetLab. Other affiliations have included UKOLN, OCLC, the Technical Knowledge Center & Library of Denmark, the Maastricht McLuhan Institute and the FAO. Traugott has worked in European Union, Nordic and national digital library projects, i.e. the EU projects DESIRE I and II, EULER and Renardus,and several others. He has published more than 60 scholarly papers, edited one book and four journal special issues and has presented a large number of lectures, papers, courses and workshops. In 2003 he was the Program Chair of ECDL and has been on programme committees for recent DC, ECDL, ISKO, JCDL, UDC, ASIST and ESWC conferences. He is a member of several editorial and project boards (eg IJDL). Traugott has been a member of the Networked Knowledge Organization Systems/Services (NKOS) network since the beginning 1997 and served as organiser, co-organiser, chair and presenter at NKOS workshops and events both in the USA and Europe. He was editor of two NKOS special issues in JoDI 2001 and 2004. He has been involved in all nine prior NKOS workshops at ECDL.

Philipp Mayr is a postdoctoral researcher and project lead at the GESIS department Knowledge Technologies for the Social Sciences (WTS). Since October 2009 he serves as a visiting professor for knowledge representation at University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Department of Information Science & Engineering. Philipp Mayr is a graduate of the Berlin School of Library and Information Science at Humboldt University Berlin where he finished his doctoral research in 2009. He studied LIS, computer science and sociology. Since November 2004 he has been working in the internationally recognized projects "Competence Center Modelling and Treatment of Heterogeneity" (KoMoHe) and "Value-Added Services for Information Retrieval" (IRM) as a researcher and PI. Philipp has presented at several NKOS workshops and is a member of the NKOS network. Philipp published in the areas Informetrics, Information Retrieval and Digital Libraries. He is member of the editorial board of the journals Scientometrics and Information Wissenschaft & Praxis. He serves as a reviewer for various journals and international programme committees. His research interests are non-textual ranking in digital libraries, bibliometric methods, evaluation of information systems, applied informetrics.

Douglas Tudhope is Professor in the Faculty of Advanced Technology, University of Glamorgan and leads the Hypermedia Research Unit. His main current research interests are the intersecting areas of information science, digital libraries and hypermedia and the semantic web. He is currently PI on the AHRC funded STAR project (Semantic Tools for Archaeological Resources), in collaboration with English Heritage and was PI on the preceding EPSRC funded FACET project, in collaboration with the Science Museum, investigating thesaurus-based query expansion. Since 1977, he has been Editor of the journal, New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia. He serves as a reviewer for various journals and international programme committees. He is a member of the Networked Knowledge Organisation Systems/Services (NKOS) network and has organised or co-organised all 9 NKOS workshops at ECDL. He co-edited the 2004 NKOS JoDI issue with Traugott Koch and co-edited the 2006 KOS NRHM issue with Marianne Lykke. He co-authored the 2006 JISC State of the Art Review on Terminology Services and Technology and The JISC Terminology Registry Scoping Study.