If You Build It, Will They Come? A Discussion of Use Cases and Barriers of Using the Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS) Available as Linked Open Data (LOD)

Publication Title

Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology

Publication Date


Document Type





Linked Open Data, Linked Data


Library and Information Science | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The publishing of knowledge organization systems (KOS) as Linked Open Data (LOD) has become a well-accepted practice during the last five years. More than 1,000 thesauri, classifications, taxonomies, ontologies, term lists, and other types of KOS are available as LOD datasets. However, there are still visible and invisible barriers for the real end-users (i.e., those other than the creators and publishers of KOS products) to access and use the LOD KOS. More importantly, the question arises as to how the LOD KOS can be used as more than traditional “controlled vocabularies” or function as more than just “value vocabularies” in the Semantic Web. Of course, the new functions are made possible because of the use of Semantic Web standards such as SKOS, OWL, RDFS, and SPARQL, but what are the appropriate practices for the implementation, extension, access, and use of these standards in the final deliverables? This panel will cover the use cases of the LOD KOS while also address the barriers and issues of using them.