Developing a web-based SKOS editor

Mike Conway, Artem Khojoyan, Fariba Fana, William Scuba, Melissa Castine, Danielle Mowery, Wendy Chapman, Simon Jupp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) was introduced to the wider research community by a 2005 World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) working draft, and further developed and refined in a 2009 W3C recommendation. Since then, SKOS has become the de facto standard for representing and sharing thesauri, lexicons, vocabularies, taxonomies, and classification schemes. In this paper, we describe the development of a web-based, free, open-source SKOS editor built for the development, curation, and management of small to medium-sized lexicons for health-related Natural Language Processing (NLP). Results: The web-based SKOS editor allows users to create, curate, version, manage, and visualise SKOS resources. We tested the system against five widely-used, publicly-available SKOS vocabularies of various sizes and found that the editor is suitable for the development and management of small to medium-size lexicons. Qualitative testing has focussed on using the editor to develop lexical resources to drive NLP applications in two domains. First, developing a lexicon to support an Electronic Health Record-based NLP system for the automatic identification of pneumonia symptoms. Second, creating a taxonomy of lexical cues associated with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) diagnoses with the goal of facilitating the automatic identification of symptoms associated with depression from short, informal texts. Conclusions: The SKOS editor we have developed is - to the best of our knowledge - the first free, open-source, web-based, SKOS editor capable of creating, curating, versioning, managing, and visualising SKOS lexicons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalJournal of Biomedical Semantics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 4 2016
Externally publishedYes


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