Vocabularies Event March 2012

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Registration: is required and may be completed at http://jisc.cetis.ac.uk/events/register.php?id=293.

Tag: #escsvoc

When: March 7th 2012 from 10am to 4pm

Where: Maple House, Birmingham (walking distance from New Street Station). Directions (pdf)

Lunch: will be provided

Organised by: Adam Cooper, Director of JISC CETIS, member of the Information Standards Board for education skills and Children's services and Champion of its Vocabularies SIG.

Scope of the Meeting and Intended Audience

Vision: A wide spectrum of education and childrens services sector-relevant vocabularies are easily findable and in a form that fosters use (re-use): from linked data and in databases; for statistical and regulatory data exchanges; for discovery of various kinds of resource and diverse other uses.

This will be an open meeting to bring together people who share a desire to increase the availability, access and reuse of vocabularies (code or term lists etc) in machine-readable forms and published to persistent locations on the web. It is being organised in association with the Vocabularies SIG of the Information Standards Board for education, skills and children's services.

The emphasis of the meeting is on existing vocabularies. Given past experience of thwarted ambition in the realm of sector vocabularies, we will be avoiding: definition of new vocabularies; vocabulary definition theory; pros/cons of particular technical formats/representations; governance; mapping and cross-walk.

Attendees, who will have an interest in practical action, will generally fit into at least one of three categories: people who have vocabularies they wish to make more available; people who need existing vocabularies to expressed in an appropriate technical format with suitable persistent locations and identifiers; people with the technical expertise to realise the vision.


Arrival, Coffee from 9:45am to 10:15am

Morning Session:

Lunch in the Restaurant from 1:15pm to 2:00pm

Afternoon Session:

In-session coffee breaks are not timetabled; a short "comfort break" will be called at an appropriate time and ad hoc recharging of cups will be the order of the day.

For the "motivating pitches", we have offers from


In this case, “vocabulary” refers to lists of values of a categorical attribute, where each value has an identifier and a definition that classifies something. The term “code list” is used in ISB standards and “vocabulary encoding scheme” used in the Dublin Core Abstract Mode (DCAM).


Out of scope at present are identifiers for instances of things (e.g. educational establishments), although these are useful. The scope of “vocabulary” is, therefore, a subset of the “value vocabulary” defined in the W3C incubator report "Library Linked Data Incubator Group: Datasets, Value Vocabularies, and Metadata Element Sets".

The use of “vocabulary” as at http://vocab.org/ is not meant.

Background and Input Material

Let me know if you would like to include a reference to a report, blog post etc that relates to the event. a.r.cooper@bolton.ac.uk