3.4 Design - Ontologies

3.4.1     Having satisfied those top-level requirements, a viable metadata design, in all its detail, will take its shape from an information model or ontology1. Several ontologies may be relevant depending on the number of operations to be undertaken. CIDOC’s CRM (Conceptual Reference Model http://cidoc.ics.forth.gr/) is recommended for the cultural heritage sector (museums, libraries and archives); FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records http://www.loc.gov/cds/downloads/FRBR.PDF) will be appropriate for an archive consisting mainly of recorded performances of musical or literary works, its influence enhanced by close association with RDA (Resource Description and Access) and DCMI (Dublin Core Metadata Initiative). COA (Contextual Ontology Architecture http://www.rightscom.com/Portals/0/Formal_Ontology_for_Media_Rights_Tran...) will be fit for purpose if rights management is paramount, as will the Motion Picture Experts Group rights management standard, MPEG-21.RDF (Resource Description Framework http://www.w3.org/RDF/), a versatile and relatively light-weight specification, should be a component especially where Web resources are being created from the archival repository: this in turn admits popular applications such as RSS (Really Simple Syndication) for information feeds (syndication). Other suitable candidates that improve the machine handling and interpretation of the metadata may be found in the emerging ‘family’ of ontologies created using OWL (Web Ontology Language). The definition of ontologies and the reading of ontologies expressed in OWL can easily be made using “Protégé”, an open tool of the Stanford University: http://protege.stanford.edu/. OWL can be used from a simple definition of terms up to a complex object oriented modelling. 

1 W3C definition: An ontology defines the terms used to describe and represent an area of knowledge. Ontologies are used by people, databases, and applications that need to share domain information (a domain is just a specific subject area or area of knowledge, like medicine, tool manufacturing, real estate, automobile repair, financial management, etc.). Ontologies include computer-usable definitions of basic concepts in the domain and the relationships among them (note that here and throughout this document, definition is not used in the technical sense understood by logicians). They encode knowledge in a domain and also knowledge that spans domains. In this way, they make that knowledge reusable.