Draft of ISO 25964-1 "Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies" - Pt1 now available

The Draft of ISO 25964-1 "Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies. Thesauri for information retrieval" is now available online on the BSI site 'free of charge’.

Comments on the associated draft XML schema are best submitted via the NISO site.

Work has been under way since May 2008 to revise and extend the International Standards for Thesauri, ISO 2788 and ISO 5964. The updated content of these two standards, plus other material needed to support interoperability, will be combined in a new standard ISO 25964, as follows

ISO 25964. Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies

*Part 1: Thesauri for information retrieval

*Part 2: Interoperability with other vocabularies.


Part 1, officially numbered ISO/DIS 25964-1, has been released as a draft available for public comment until the end of February 2010. It covers monolingual and multilingual thesauri. As well as updating the entire content of ISO 2788 and ISO 5964, coverage includes:

*guidelines for thesaurus management software;

*a data model for monolingual and multilingual thesauri;

*recommendations for exchange formats and protocols.

An XML schema for data exchange is included as an informative appendix, and is available free of charge at:

http://www.niso.org/schemas/iso25964/ . Please click the 'comments' link on this web page, to give your feedback on the draft schema.


While the data model is not exactly the same as the SKOS model, there is a lot of commonality between the two, and some members of the SKOS community have proposed extensions to achieve better alignment. The whole standard may be viewed online at http://drafts.bsigroup.com/ prior free registration on the site. It is easy to submit comments on each clause, whether one is located in the UK or not. Alternatively a hard copy is available from BSI. Orders can be placed online at http://shop.bsigroup.com/ (where the draft is listed under an alternative number of 09/30165649 DC). 

A copy of the whole draft may also be obtained from any of the national standards bodies which are members of ISO, the International Organization for Standards. Development of the standard is based on BS 8723, which was published in 5 parts during 2005-2008. The work is managed by a Working Group known as ISO TC46/SC9/WG8, which has participants from 15 countries and is led by Stella Dextre Clarke of the UK. The Secretariat is provided by NISO (USA). WG8 is now actively working on Part 2 of the standard, which will provide guidance on mapping between vocabularies.

Further information may be found in the ASIS&T Bulletin at:  

http://www.asis.org/Bulletin/Oct-08/OctNov08_DextreClark.pdf, and in an article in the Technology Watch Report at http://metadaten-twr.org/tag/iso-25964/ as well as on the official website below.