Public release of Records in Contexts-Ontology 0.2

Florence Clavaud, EGAD | 22 February 2021

In February 2021, the ICA Experts Group on Archival Description (EGAD) released the version 0.2 of Records in Contexts Ontology (RIC-O), the second part of Records in Contexts standard.

RiC-O 0.2 has the following URI: https://www.ica.org/standards/RiC/ontology. Using this URI, human readers can access an HTML representation of RiC-O, while machines can access its RDF/OWL source file.

ICA RiC-O (Records in Contexts Ontology) is an OWL ontology for describing archival resources and their contextual entities. As the second part of Records in Contexts standard, it is a formal representation of Records in Contexts Conceptual Model (RiC-CM).

The released version, RiC-O 0.2, is the second public official release of RiC-O. It replaces RiC-O 0.1 that was published in December 2019. It is compliant with the latest version of RiC-CM, RiC-CM 0.2 full draft, that will soon be published, and that is slightly different from RiC-CM 0.2 preview, that was published in December 2019.

RiC-O provides a generic vocabulary and formal rules for creating RDF datasets (or generating them from existing archival metadata) that describe in a consistent way any kind of archival record resource and its contextual entities. It is therefore a reference model for publishing archival metadata sets as Linked Data, querying them using SPARQL, and making inferences using the logic of the ontology.

RiC-O 0.2 is fully documented in English. The ontology metadata includes, among other components, an updated introduction, and a history note that lists every change made to the ontology since December 2019. Each component defined by RiC-O 0.2 (class, property or individual) comes with at least a label and a textual definition, a scope note in most cases, and, when some change has been made to its specification since RiC-O 0.1, a change note that records the date and the nature of the change.

RiC-O 0.2 remains a draft. RiC-O will continue to evolve, the next milestone being the release of RiC-O 1.0 recommendation, which will probably take place by the end of 2021, at the same time as RiC-CM 1.0 recommendation.

The latest version of RiC-O source file, as well as earlier versions, has been continuously available since March 2020 in a public Git repository on Github (https://github.com/ICA-EGAD/RiC-O). This repository also includes diagrams and examples, that have been updated and enriched. Any person who has an account on Github can clone or fork the repository, create issues or create comments on the existing issues, thus contribute to the development of RiC-O.

Finally, since March 2020, RiC-O comes with an information website, that has also been updated, particularly as concerns the list of existing proofs of concept on RiC-O, of research programs that use it, of present and future implementations of RiC-O in archival information systems, and of tools based on RiC-O (https://ica-egad.github.io/RiC-O/projects-and-tools.html).

Do not hesitate to react, ask a question, make a comment or a suggestion, request additional information, report a project! Use either egad at ica.org mailbox, or RiC-O users discussion list (if you would like to subscribe to this list, simply email to Florence Clavaud (florence.clavaud at culture.gouv.fr).