The Virtual International Authority File (VIAF) is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).

A union catalog that itemizes the collections of 17,900 libraries in 123 countries and territories[4] that participate in the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) global cooperative. It is operated by OCLC, Inc. The subscribing member libraries collectively maintain WorldCat's database, the world's largest bibliographic database. OCLC makes WorldCat itself available free to libraries, but the catalog is the foundation for other subscription OCLC services (such as resource sharing and collection management). WorldCat is used by the general public and by librarians for cataloging and research.

The Bibliographic Ontology Specification provides main concepts and properties for describing citations and bibliographic references (i.e. quotes, books, articles, etc) on the Semantic Web.

Used to describe authors, papers and publication information.

This vocabulary is an expression in RDF of the concepts and relations described in the IFLA report on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR).

This vocabulary is a work in progress, it includes RDF classes for the group 1, 2 and 3 entities described by the FRBR report and properties corresponding to the core relationships between those entities. It does not yet describe attributes of the entities. Where possible, appropriate relationships with other vocabularies are included in order to place this vocabulary in the context of existing RDF work.

The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set is a vocabulary of fifteen properties for use in resource description. The name "Dublin" is due to its origin at a 1995 invitational workshop in Dublin, Ohio; "core" because its elements are broad and generic, usable for describing a wide range of resources.

The fifteen element "Dublin Core" described in this standard is part of a larger set of metadata vocabularies and technical specifications maintained by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI). The full set of vocabularies, DCMI Metadata Terms, also includes sets of resource classes (including the DCMI Type Vocabulary, vocabulary encoding schemes, and syntax encoding schemes. The terms in DCMI vocabularies are intended to be used in combination with terms from other, compatible vocabularies in the context of application profiles and on the basis of the DCMI Abstract Model.

All changes made to terms of the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set since 2001 have been reviewed by a DCMI Usage Board in the context of a DCMI Namespace Policy. The namespace policy describes how DCMI terms are assigned Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) and sets limits on the range of editorial changes that may allowably be made to the labels, definitions, and usage comments associated with existing DCMI terms.

This document, an excerpt from the more comprehensive document DCMI Metadata Terms provides an abbreviated reference version of the fifteen element descriptions that have been formally endorsed in the following standards:

  • ISO Standard 15836:2009 of February 2009 [ISO15836]
  • ANSI/NISO Standard Z39.85-2012 of February 2013 [NISOZ3985]
  • IETF RFC 5013 of August 2007 [RFC5013]

Since 1998, when these fifteen elements entered into a standardization track, notions of best practice in the Semantic Web have evolved to include the assignment of formal domains and ranges in addition to definitions in natural language. Domains and ranges specify what kind of described resources and value resources are associated with a given property. Domains and ranges express the meanings implicit in natural-language definitions in an explicit form that is usable for the automatic processing of logical inferences. When a given property is encountered, an inferencing application may use information about the domains and ranges assigned to a property in order to make inferences about the resources described thereby.

Since January 2008, therefore, DCMI includes formal domains and ranges in the definitions of its properties. So as not to affect the conformance of existing implementations of "simple Dublin Core" in RDF, domains and ranges have not been specified for the fifteen properties of the dce: namespace ( Rather, fifteen new properties with "names" identical to those of the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set Version 1.1 have been created in the dct: namespace ( These fifteen new properties have been defined as sub-properties of the corresponding properties of DCMES Version 1.1 and assigned domains and ranges as specified in the more comprehensive document DCMI Metadata Terms.

Implementers may freely choose to use these fifteen properties either in their legacy dce: variant (e.g., or in the dct: variant (e.g., depending on application requirements. The RDF schemas of the DCMI namespaces describe the subproperty relation of dct:creator to dce:creator for use by Semantic Web-aware applications. Over time, however, implementers are encouraged to use the semantically more precise dct: properties, as they more fully follow emerging notions of best practice for machine-processable metadata.



This document is an up-to-date specification of all metadata terms maintained by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, including properties, vocabulary encoding schemes, syntax encoding schemes, and classes.

This document is an up-to-date, authoritative specification of all metadata terms maintained by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. Included are the fifteen terms of the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, which have also been published as IETF RFC 5013, ANSI/NISO Standard Z39.85-2007, and ISO Standard 15836:2009.

The DCMI Type Vocabulary.

About FAST

FAST (Faceted Application of Subject Terminology) is derived from the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), one of the library domain’s most widely used subject terminology schemas. The development of FAST has been a collaboration of OCLC Research and the Library of Congress. Work on FAST began in late 1998.

FAST has been developed in large part to attempt to meet the perceived need for a general-use subject terminology scheme, which is:

  • simple to learn and apply,
  • faceted-navigation-friendly, and
  • modern in its design.

The broad purpose of adapting the LCSH with a simplified syntax to create FAST is to retain the very rich vocabulary of LCSH while making the schema easier to understand, control, apply, and use. The schema maintains upward compatibility with LCSH, and any valid set of LC subject headings can be converted to FAST headings.

After full development, FAST has evolved into an eight-facet vocabulary with a universe of approximately 1.7 million headings across all facets. The facets are designed to be used in tandem, but each may also be used independently. The rules of application are very simple.


With a rapid growth of accessible information, there was a need for a simplified indexing schema, which could be assigned and used by non-professional cataloger or indexers.

The origin of FAST can be traced to observations by OCLC Research staff involved with the OCLC Cooperative Online Resource Catalog (CORC) project, which focused on the cataloging of web resources. CORC participants typically wanted to be able to adopt simple, low-cost, low-effort approaches to describing Web resources (e.g., using Dublin Core). In the course of the CORC project, it became clear that a significant barrier to minimal-effort resource description was the lack of an easy-to-learn and apply general subject vocabulary.

Additionally, work during the same time period by the Subcommittee on Metadata and Subject Analysis of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services’ Subject Access Committee identified specific functional requirements of subject data in the metadata record (ALCTS 1999), and these requirements mapped well to the intended outcomes of what would become the FAST project.


A family of eight modular, complementary vocabularies designed to support faceted retrieval, FAST represents a well-designed, professionally stewarded controlled vocabulary set that carries a modest initial training burden and operational overhead comparable to keyword indexing. This combination of attributes, along with a design and implementation that make FAST well-suited for linked data applications, provide a viable and far superior alternative to key word indexing or other uncontrolled approaches.

FAST is used by the National Library of New Zealand and RMIT to enrich article metadata, by Databib to index descriptions of databases, and by a variety of libraries to provide subject indexing of description of digital resources.


In developing FAST, The primary objectives were (1) compatibility with existing metadata, (2) ease of assignment, (3) retrieval effectiveness, (4) cost of maintenance, and (5) semantic interoperability. The development team determined that these objectives could best be satisfied by a fully enumerative faceted subject heading schema derived from the Library of Congress Subject Headings.

The individual terms in the FAST vocabulary are divided into eight distinct categories or facets: Personal names, Corporate names, Geographic names, Events, Titles, Time periods, Topics, and Form/Genre.

As a fully enumerative system, all subject headings are established with authority records eliminating the need to synthesize headings along with the complex set of syntax rules.

The FAST authority file contains over 1,700,000 authority records.


RiC-O (Records in Contexts-Ontology) is an OWL ontology for describing archival record resources. As the second part of Records in Contexts standard, it is a formal representation of Records in Contexts Conceptual Model (RiC-CM).

Relator terms and their associated codes designate the relationship between a name and a bibliographic resource. The relator codes are three-character lowercase alphabetic strings that serve as identifiers. Either the term or the code may be used as controlled values.

This document describes the MADS/RDF (Metadata Authority Description Schema in RDF) vocabulary, a data model for authority and vocabulary data used within the library and information science (LIS) community, which is inclusive of museums, archives, and other cultural institutions. It is presented as an OWL ontology.

MADS/RDF is a knowledge organization system (KOS) designed for use with controlled values for names (personal, corporate, geographic, etc.), thesauri, taxonomies, subject heading systems, and other controlled value lists. It is closely related to SKOS, the Simple Knowledge Organization System and a widely supported and adopted RDF vocabulary. Given the close relationship between the aim of MADS/RDF and the aim of SKOS, the MADS ontology has been fully mapped to SKOS.

Unlike SKOS, however, which is very broad in its application, MADS/RDF is designed specifically to support authority data as used by and needed in the LIS community and its technology systems. For example, MADS/RDF provides a means to record data from the Machine Readable Cataloging (MARC) Authorities format in RDF for use in semantic applications and Linked Data projects.

MADS/RDF is designed to support the description of cultural and bibliographic resources. Data described using MADS/RDF, therefore, assists with identifying and annotating bibliographic and cultural resources. MADS/RDF is not focused on the description of Real World Objects. Although a MADS/RDF description may contain information specific to the Real World Object associated with the MADS/RDF authoritative label, the MADS/RDF ontology distinguishes between these two entities – the RWO and the Authority.