Course and qualification description

MLO - Metadata for Learning Opportunities

Metadata for Learning Opportunities (MLO) is a European standardized model addressing metadata sufficient for advertising a learning opportunity. The MLO standard is also designed to facilitate semantic technologies and web architectures to support several mechanisms for exchange of the information and aggregation of information by third party service suppliers. 

An RDF-S version of MLO has been developed by Scott Wilson and is currently available at using the namespace

See for example the use of MLO in course descriptions at the Open University:

XCRI-CAP - XCRI Course Advertising Profile

XCRI is UK-oriented project to establish a specification to support the eXchange of Course-Related Information. A key activity for XCRI is the development of an XML specification, the XCRI Course Advertising Profile (or XCRI-CAP for short). Learning providers can publish their courses information in the standard XCRI-CAP format, so that it can be collected easily by organisations with course search services. Opening up the offerings of learning providers creates new possibilities for value-added services and information channels for universities, colleges, and training providers.

An RDF-S version of XCRI has been developed by Scott Wilson and is currently available at using the namespace

See for example the use of XCRI in course descriptions at the Open University:

TEACH - Teaching Core Vocabulary

TEACH, the Teaching Core Vocabulary, is a lightweight vocabulary providing terms to enable teachers to relate things in their courses together. The Teaching Core Vocabulary is based on practical requirements set by providing seminar and course descriptions as Linked Data. The vocabulary specification is available at and it uses this same URI as the namespace. The suggested namespace prefix is "teach".

See an example of the use of TEACH in course descriptions at the University of Muenster:

University as an organisation

AIISO - Academic Institution Internal Structure Ontology

The Academic Institution Internal Structure Ontology (AIISO) provides classes and properties to describe the internal organizational structure of an academic institution. 

See for example the use of AIISO in course descriptions at the Open University:

Bowlogna Ontology

The Bowlogna ontology originates from a lexicon defining terms related to the Bologna Process and aims at providing a standard schema for European universities involved in the Bologna Reform of higher-education studies. 

Core organization ontology

This ontology is not specific to universities, but aim at supporting linked-data publishing of organizational information across a number of domains. It is designed to allow domain-specific extensions to add classification of organisations and roles, as well as extensions to support neighbouring information such as organisational activities.

Academic Publications and Communities

BIBO - The Bibliographic Ontology

The Bibliographic Ontology describe bibliographic things on the semantic Web in RDF. This ontology can be used as a citation ontology, as a document classification ontology, or simply as a way to describe any kind of document in RDF. It has been inspired by many existing document description metadata formats, and can be used as a common ground for converting other bibliographic data sources.

See for example the use of BIBO for academic publications at the Open University:

VIVO Ontology

VIVO is an open source application implementing semantic web principles and technologies to represent academic research communities. The VIVO ontology provides a set of types (classes) and relationships (properties) to represent researchers and the full context in which they work. Content in any local VIVO installation may be maintained manually, brought into VIVO in automated ways from local systems of record, such as HR, grants, course, and faculty activity databases, or from database providers such as publication aggregators and funding agencies.

The VIVO Ontology is based on other, including notably BIBO and FOAF. Its documentation can be found at

Academic Topics

Mathematics Subject Classification

The Mathematics Subject Classification Linked Wiki pressents the effort of implementing the Mathematics Subject Classification (MSC2010) as a Linked Open Dataset using SKOS - Simple Knowledge Organization System. 

Multimedia resources

W3C Ontology for Media Resources

The Ontology for Media Resources is both a core vocabulary (a set of properties describing media resources) and its mapping to a set of metadata formats currently describing media resources published on the Web. The set of properties of the Ontology for Media Resources 1.0 was selected with respect to the most commonly adopted set of elements from metadata formats currently in use to describe media resources.

See for example the use of the Ontology for Media Resources to describe podcast tracks at the Open University:

Research Descriptions

Linked Science Core Vocabulary (LSC)

The Linked Science Core Vocabulary (LSC) is designed for describing scientific resources including elements of research, their context, and inter- connecting them. LSC is thus as an example of building blocks for Linked Science to communicate the linkage between scientific resources in a machine-understandable way. LSC focuses on simple properties that can be used to describe the content of a research paper that is, to relate the research, hypotheses, predictions, experiments, data, and publications together. 

The “core” in the name refers to the fact that LSC only defines the basic terms for science. More specific terms needed by different scientific communities can be introduced as extensions of LSC. The vocabulary specification is available at and it uses this same URI as the namespace. The suggested namespace prefix is "lsc".

CERIF Ontology

The Common European Research Information Format (CERIF) Ontology Specification provides basic concepts and properties for describing research information as semantic data. It is developed by EuroCRIS, the European Organization for International Research Information.