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Best Practice: Publish RDF Vocabularies

State: Approved

Contact: Nick Crossley


RDF resource representations contain vocabulary terms for properties, types, and individuals. These terms are themselves HTTP URIs. When you use HTTP GET to dereference a vocabulary term URI, you should get a document that describes the term. The vocabulary document should be available as HTML for humans and as RDF for programs, e.g. Lifecycle Query Engine (LQE) and report builders.

The human-readable version of a vocabulary is useful to people who need to develop Linked Data applications, or who need to use data provided by Linked Data applications.

The machine-readable version of a vocabulary is useful by report builders for providing user-assistance to query authors. It is also useful at query execution time so that human-readable labels can be associated with RDF term URIs such as those for enumerated values.

This recommendation contains best practices for publishing RDF vocabularies.

This Best Practice is closely related to Best Practice: Make RDF Vocabulary Documents Available For Use in Queries which discusses making vocabulary documents indexable by query engines.


Standard vocabularies defined by Rational tools should be published on jazz.net. Refer to Publishing RDF Vocabularies at jazz.net for detailed information about creating RDF vocabularies and publishing them on jazz.net.

Many tools support customization. For example, Rational Team Concert (RTC) allows project area administrators to customize work item types by adding new attributes and enumerations. These attributes and enumeration values appear in the RDF representation of work items as RDF properties and individuals. In general, tools should enable administrators to specify external vocabulary URIs used for these RDF terms. In the absence of external URIs, the tool must automatically generate local vocabulary URIs that are hosted by the tool. The generated local vocabulary URIs should follow the same guidelines as for external vocabulary URIs.

The best practices are described in the attached presentation, which was presented to the Rational Development Council, 2012-01-25.

These best practices are based on the W3C Best Practice Recipes for Publishing RDF Vocabularies.

See Also

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Pptppt publishing-rdf-vocabularies.ppt manage 1280.5 K 2014-12-29 - 19:30 UnknownUser Publishing RDF Vocabularies
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