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PREMIS (LOC Preservation Metadata Maintenance Activity) OWL Ontology Available for Review

From Priscilla Caplan on behalf of the PREMIS Editorial Committee

The PREMIS ( Editorial Committee has announced the publication of an OWL ontology for the PREMIS Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata version 2.1, a digital preservation standard based on the OAIS reference model. This PREMIS OWL ontology tries to stick as closely as possible to the PREMIS Data Dictionary, which was developed by experts in the domain of long-term preservation and already had clearly defined semantics for its metadata elements. Until now the PREMIS Data Dictionary was only implemented as an XML schema, which remains ideal for creating, validating and storing the preservation metadata of a particular digital asset.

This OWL ontology allows one to express the same information in RDF. With this alternative serialization, information can be more easily interconnected, especially between different repository databases. Information in RDF can be also easily and flexibly queried, which can be an interesting option for the data management function of a repository. The PREMIS OWL ontology also reaches out to preservation-specific vocabularies already published by the Library of Congress on ( [1].

For all these reasons, the OWL design of PREMIS should NOT be considered as a replacement for the XML Schema: the two of them should rather be considered complementary.

The ontology is public and open for review [2]. There are still some designs decisions open, formulated as questions to the ontology reviewers and available on the PREMIS OWL Public Wiki [3]. Interested people can leave their valuable feedback on the PREMIS OWL Wiki under Questions for Reviewers. Feedback is very much welcome and will be taken into account for the next release of the PREMIS OWL ontology.

 For now, the ontology is available on the following namespace, but after it is finalized it will move to a Library of Congress namespace:

Please send comments no later than Nov. 10, 2011 to be considered in a revised version.

PREMIS Ontology Working Group:

Sam Coppens, University of Ghent
Sébastien Peyrard, Bibliothéque nationale de France
Rebecca Guenther, Library of Congress (now Independent consultant)
Kevin Ford, Library of Congress
Tom Creighton, Familysearch

[1] Preservation vocabularies:


[3] PREMIS OWL Wiki: