Columbia University Workshop 2011

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SKOS-2-HIVE: Creating SKOS Vocabularies to Help Interdisciplinary Vocabulary Engineering


Morning session

Afternoon session

Exercises and Answers (broken link)

Columbia University, May 20, 2011

Location: Rm 523, Butler Library at Columbia University, New York City


Registration Fees

$60.00 half day (single session)

$105.00 full day (both sessions)

Registration fee includes: Coffee and Danishes from 8:00 AM-8:30 AM; does not include lunch.


The SKOS-2-HIVE workshop focuses on using semantic web technologies for representing and describing collections using multiple controlled vocabularies. The workshop focuses on basic understanding and usage of W3C’s Simple Knowledge Organization Systems (SKOS)linked data, and the HIVE library of open source applications.

There are two workshop components:

1. Foundational Concepts and HIVE Basics. This component addresses the conceptual design of structured vocabularies, including a range of semantic relationships; domain representation and issues central to identifying useful vocabularies; the application of basic SKOS tags; and basic techniques underlying the HIVE vocabulary server for enriching digital resource descriptions.

2. Implementing HIVE. This component covers more technical aspects including steps for implementing a HIVE server.

  • Workshop outlines and learning outcomes provided further below.

Workshop rationale: Semantic web technologies provide innovative means for organizing, describing, and managing digital resources in a range of formats. Successful implementation and use of semantic web technologies requires both information professionals and system developers to become knowledgeable about the underlying intellectual construct and roadmap toward forming a semantic web. The IMLS-funded Helping Interdisciplinary Vocabulary Engineering (HIVE)project has been addressing these needs by working with the W3C’s Simple Knowledge Organization Systems (SKOS) in the linked data environment. HIVE has been implemented using semantic web enabling technologies and machine learning to provide a solution to the traditional controlled vocabulary problems of cost, interoperability, and usability. Current HIVE vocabulary partners include the Library of Congress, the Getty Research Institute, and the U.S. Geological Survey.


Morning Session: Foundational Concepts and HIVE Basics, 8:30 AM-12:00 PM


This session addresses traditional thesaural concepts and the extension of these concepts via SKOS/linked data, HIVE and the semantic web.


This workshop targets information professionals (librarians, archivists, museum professional, web architects, and others); system developers; and students seeking knowledge about the basic framework and conceptual aspect of vocabulary design.


Have a basic understanding of subject metadata creation or subject cataloging.

Learning Outcomes

  • Evaluate controlled vocabulary, thesauri, and ontologies that would best fit your information environment’s needs.
  • Identify basic thesaural relationships including: relative, associative and hierarchical.
  • Use basic SKOS tags to identify the above thesaural relationships.
  • Become familiar with using the HIVE software and the HIVE processes.

Lunch on your own 12:00 PM-1:00 PM

Afternoon Session: Implementing HIVE 1:00 PM-4:30 PM


This session provides details on the HIVE system, underlying algorithms, source code, and the library of system features.


System developers, as well as technologists, librarians, and information scientists who are interested in the technological side of the semantic web, and who may be implementing, experiments with, and/or extending HIVE technologies.


Have a general understanding of programming concepts, software and systems architectures. Experience with Java and related technologies or object-oriented design is helpful.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the architecture of the HIVE vocabulary server.
  • Become familiar with information retrieval techniques and how HIVE applies them to vocabulary terms.
  • Gain experience indexing documents with HIVE and KEA (a machine learning application).
  • Learn how to integrate HIVE vocabulary services into other tools.
  • Learn how to use the SPARQL language for querying content in HIVE.

Workshop Leaders

Jane Greenberg is a professor at the School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (SILS/UNC-CH); and she is director of the SILS Metadata Research Center. Her research and teaching focus in the areas of metadata, knowledge organization, and the semantic web. Her funded research has been supported by NSF, IMLS, Microsoft Research, Library of Congress, and OCLC. She is the 2010 recipient of the Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Published Research.

Hollie White is doctoral fellow at the SILS Metadata Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the 2009 recipient of the Council of Library and Information Resources’ Zipf Fellowship in Information Management. Her research areas include knowledge organization, information organization, metadata, and personal information management. Before enrolling in the doctoral program, Hollie was Catalog Librarian at the Ross-Blakely Law Library at Arizona State University.

Craig Willis is a graduate research assistant at the SILS Metadata Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His interests include knowledge organization, information organization, metadata, and information modeling. Craig has a background in the development of software for geographic information systems, federated search and access control for subscription electronic resources.

Workshop Logistics

Butler Library 535 West 114th Street, NY, NY, 10027