NKOS Vocabularies

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KOS Relation Vocabulary

Updated 2015-10-02

Relationships between entities of different types

1. Work (W)-to-Expression (E): (E) realizes (W)

2. Expression (E)-to-Manifestation (M): (M) embodies (E)

Relationships between entities of the same type

1. Work (W)-to-Work (W): based on (W), is part of (W)

2. Expression (E)-to-Expression (E): based on (E), is part of (E), other relation (E)

These are the sub-types of dct:relation and can be used as object property in describing relationships as needed.

dct:relation sub-types

KOS Relation-Type Vocabulary -- Sub-types of dct:relation and examples
Specializations of relationships may only be applicable to specific entity types.

Relation Type







is part of

 A is part of B.


Class H - Social Sciences of Library of Congress Classification (LCC)



 B has part A.



. outline of

 A is outline of B.


DDC Summaries



 B has outline A



. excerpt of

 A is excerpt of B.


Table G (Geographic Notation) of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Classification

NLM Classification


 B has excerpt A



. fragment of

 A is fragment of B.


entries from a scheme

a scheme


 B has fragment A



. sample

 A is sample of B.


a sample entry or a page from a scheme

a scheme


 B has sample A.






is based on

 A is based on B.


Canadian Subject Headings (CSH)

Library of Congress Classification(LCSH)

is basis for

 B is basis for A.



.translation of

 A is translation of B.


Dewey-Dezimalklassifikation 22 

DDC 22


 B has translation A.



.abridgment of

 A is abridgment of B.


DDC Abridged Edition 15

DDC 23


 B has abridgment A.



.extension of

 A is extension of B.


A localized version of NLM Classification

NLM Classification


 B has extension A.



.version of

 A is version of B.


DDC 23



 B has version A.



KOS Types Vocabulary

(updated 2015-10-02)

Now changed to permanent namespace xmlns:nkostype="http://w3id.org/nkos/nkostype"

e.g., http://w3id.org/nkos/nkostype#pick_list"

RDF/XML file available: [1]

KOS Types Vocabulary 

(A value encoding scheme)

authority file: see name authority list

categorization scheme: loosely formed grouping scheme [1]

classification scheme: schedule of concepts and pre-coordinated combinations of concepts, arranged by classification [2]

dictionary: a reference source containing words usually alphabetically arranged along with information about their forms, pronunciations, functions, etymologies, meanings, and syntactical and idiomatic uses [3]

gazetteer: geospatial dictionary of named and typed places [1]

glossary: a collection of textual glosses or of specialized terms with their meanings [3]

list: a limited set of terms arranged as a simple alphabetical list or in some other logically evident way; containing no relationships of any kind [4]

name authority list: controlled vocabulary for use in naming particular entities consistently [2]

ontology: A formal model that allows knowledge to be represented for a specific domain. An ontology describes the types of things that exist (classes), the relationships between them (properties) and the logical ways those classes and properties can be used together (axioms). [5]

pick list: see list

semantic network: set of terms representing concepts, modeled as the nodes in a network of variable relationship types [1]

subject heading list: see subject heading scheme   

subject heading scheme:  structured vocabulary comprising terms available for subject indexing, plus rules for combining them into pre-coordinated strings of terms where necessary [2]

synonym ring: set of synonymous or almost synonymous terms, any of which can be used to refer to a particular concept [2]

taxonomy: scheme of categories and subcategories that can be used to sort and otherwise organize items of knowledge or information [2]

terminology: set of designations belonging to one special language [ISO 1087-1:2000, definition 3.5.1][2]
(NOTE: The term “special language” is defined in ISO 1087 to mean a “language used in a subject field and characterized by the use of specific linguistic means of expression”; while a “designation” is defined therein as a “representation of a concept by a sign which denotes it”.)

thesaurus: controlled and structured vocabulary in which concepts are represented by terms, organized so that relationships between concepts are made explicit, and preferred terms are accompanied by lead-in entries for synonyms or quasi-synonyms [2]

[1] NKOS definitions. Based on KOS Taxonomy [2] http://nkos.slis.kent.edu/KOS_taxonomy.htm

[2] ISO25964-2:2013. Information and documentation -- Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies. Part 2: Interoperability with other vocabularies. 

[3] Merriam Webster online. Available at: [3]

[4] NKOS definitions. Based on ANSI/NISO Z39.19-2005 (R2010). Guidelines for the construction, format, and management of monolingual controlled vocabularies. ISBN: 1-880124-65-3. Available at: [4]

[5] W3C Linked Data Glossary. W3C Working Group Note 27 June 2013. Available at: [5]

Reference list:

ISO 25964-2:2013. Information and documentation -- Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies -- Part 2: Interoperability with other vocabularies. ISO (International Organization for Standardization) ISO TC 46/SC 9. Info: [6]

KOS Taxonomy. NKOS (Networked Knowledge Organization Systems/Services/Structures),  2000-. (Web page).  Available at: [7]

ANSI/NISO Z39.19-2005. Guidelines for the construction, format, and management of monolingual controlled vocabularies. Bethesda, MD: NISO Press. 2005, R2010. Available at: [8]  

Merriam Webster online. Available at: [9] <p style='text-autospace:none'>Linked Data Glossary. W3C Working Group Note 27 June 2013. (Web page). Available at: [10]

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