After months of development and nearly 1000 messages on the mailing list exchanged between 83 participants, the first version of The Bibliographic Ontology has just been published.

This is an important milestone for this project. It has been postponed weeks after weeks to make sure that it was expressive enough to handle all kind of scenarios for all kind of bibliographic projects. We finally reached a consensus and published the first version of this ontology.

I am quite pleased to release it after nearly one year of development. We have a solid basis that can easily be extended to cope with more specialized bibliographic needs. We already know some projects (such as Zotero; thanks Connie) that are planning to use BIBO to describe things related to documents and collection of documents in RDF.

Ontology Resources

Many resources exist to help people to use this ontology to describe bibliographic things.

  • Ontology documentation – is the human readable documentation of the ontology.
  • Ontology description – is the RDF+N3 description of the ontology. (note: all URIs are dereferencable)
  • Mailing list – is the place where people ask questions about how to use the ontology; where people suggest extensions to the ontology; and where people report potential issues.
  • Wiki – is the place where to archive references, write examples and write other stuff related to the ontology.
    • Examples – It is the place where to write BIBO examples.
  • Google Code Repository – is the place where to download the latest version of the working draft of the ontology. Additionally, people can download tools related to the ontology.


I would like to thank everybody that participated to the mailing list and the wiki. Many people put much time and thinking into this ontology, and this release won’t have been possible without their professional work, time and thinking. This is a really complex domain and countless hours have been spent on this project. It is not an end; it is just the beginning.

Please send any questions, comments, suggest and report issues on the mailing list.

I would like to personally thanks Bruce, Yves, Patrick, Connie, Elena, Mark, (I am missing others, please forgive me), and all others for making this happen.

8 thoughts on “The Bibliographic Ontology 1.0

  1. Panlibus » Blog Archive » The Bibliographic Ontology 1.0 - published.
  2. AI3:::Adaptive Information
  3. Nice work! Do you offer an OWL file (xml format) as well?

  4. Hi David!

    No I don’t, but you can easily convert the N3 version in XML using this wonderful tool by Joshua:

    I hope this helps ๐Ÿ™‚

    Take care,


  5. Bibliographic Ontology at IBI-Weblog
  6. info-blog » Blog Archive » The Bibliographic Ontology - semantyka do opisu bibliografii
  7. Hi,

    first of all I like to thank you for this great work you’ve done. These days I’m writing my thesis which is about annotation for bibliographic references in HTML documents with COinS, unAPI, Microformats, eRDF and RDFa (in German). All the time I ask myself why there isn’t a proper Ontology describing the subject. And here you are, right in time. So thanks!
    I’m glad to hear that Zotero is interested in the use of the ontology. So this is a great approach concerning to your ideas on Zotero and the semantic web. I also thought about working on an Zotero exporter, which creates a RDFa markup for a specific citation style, so that everybody can publish semantic references in their HTML documents. But this is not so easy for me, because I’m not a computer scientist but a librarian and not that familiar with Javacript.
    So anyway I like your work and I try to spread your word in the German library 2.0 community.

    Cheers! (Sorry for bad spelling)

  8. BIBO is Boffo » AI3:::Adaptive Information

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