Semantic Publishing and Referencing Ontologies

In the past, several groups have proposed (Semantic Web) models, such as RDFS vocabularies and OWL ontologies, to describe particular aspects of the publishing domain. However, these models were mainly concerned with the description of the metadata of bibliographic resources (e.g., DC Terms, PRISM and BIBO). One of the first attempts to address the description of the whole publishing domain is the introduction of the Semantic Publishing and Referencing (SPAR) Ontologies. SPAR is a suite of orthogonal and complementary OWL 2 ontologies that enable all aspects of the publishing process to be described in machine-readable metadata statements, encoded using RDF.

Please use the following reference for citing the SPAR Ontologies suite in your works:

Peroni, S. (2014). The Semantic Publishing and Referencing Ontologies. In Semantic Web Technologies and Legal Scholarly Publishing: 121-193. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. Open Access at:

All the ontologies included in the SPAR suite

While the current suite contains several ontologies (see the figure above), the original suite of SPAR ontologies comprises eight distinct modules:

The main part of the aformentioned ontologies are based on other available and more general models. Two of those have been developed within the SPAR Ontologies:

The aforementioned ontologies form the original set of SPAR ontologies. However, this set has more recently been extended with other complementary ontologies that extend the coverage of the possible description of the publishing domain: