Does anyone know of an ontology I can use to describe a database (in this case, it is a bibliographic database); thus:

<#1233> a ex:ResearchDatabase .

asked 11 Sep '11, 16:02

brinxmat's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

Here are a couple of relevant class URIs:

As per the first definition, void:Dataset is only appropriate if the database you're describing is available as RDF. dcmitype:Dataset is a more general class which could be applied to RDF data, SQL databases and any other structured data.

Addition: you could further qualify it as a bibliographic database like this:

:my_database a dcmitype:Dataset ;
    dcterms:subject <> .

<> a skos:Concept ;
    skos:prefLabel "Bibliography"@en .

answered 12 Sep '11, 03:12

tobyink's gravatar image

tobyink ♦
accept rate: 26%

edited 12 Sep '11, 08:42

Good point — I can't say anything about the data in most cases, so a neutral dcmitype:Dataset is a good compromise.

(12 Sep '11, 03:42) brinxmat brinxmat's gravatar image

We use the following class URIs to model our (mostly) bibliographic databases:

  • void:Dataset - because (a subset of) the database content is mapped to RDF Triples and each record has its own URI
  • cdtype:CatalogueOrIndex - this concept best matches bibliographic databases. It is a subclass of dcmit:Collection
  • daia:Service - because our bibliographic databases are mostly library catalouges, which are provided by an Institution. The subclass daiaservice:Openaccess indicates that the database is freely available

I have not thought about dcmit:Dataset, as suggested by @tobyink, this makes sense too.

Have a look at the directory of some of our bibliographic databases:

Here is a nice visual example, including the connection of database and library institution:


answered 13 Sep '11, 11:12

Jakob's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

These are good suggestions!

(14 Sep '11, 07:19) brinxmat brinxmat's gravatar image

The general case of an ontology to refer to a database is very... general. The D2RQ mapping language is designed to describe relational databases in RDF terms, and there is some work at the W3C ( toward a version of that that is not specific to D2RQ.

If you're really looking for a bibliography ontology, check out Frédérick Giasson and Bruce D'Arcus's Bibliographic Ontology at


answered 11 Sep '11, 20:44

bobdc's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%


BIBO has no class for this purpose, since a bibliographic database isn't (oddly?) something that you'd cite.

From my own investigation void:Dataset is closest.

(12 Sep '11, 03:10) brinxmat brinxmat's gravatar image
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Asked: 11 Sep '11, 16:02

Seen: 898 times

Last updated: 14 Sep '11, 07:19