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VocBench EcoPortal is a service that enables the creation, editing and publishing of semantic artefacts in the ecological domain. To create a new project or edit an existing project in VocBench EcoPortal there are two options:

  1. Not registered users must register to VocBench EcoPortal at the following link. Within the registration form, it is possible to request editing permission of a semantic artefact published in EcoPortal by adding the full resource name and acronym (e.g., Fish Traits Thesaurus (FISHTRAITS)) into the box “Existing semantic artefact?”. By default, the last version on EcoPortal is loaded, otherwise users have to specify the version from which to start editing in VocBench. NOTE: Only the semantic artefact owner can request editing permission of that resource. To create a new semantic artefact users must specify:
    • New semantic artefact: the name of the project, e.g., Fish Traits Thesaurus. It is recommended to add the full name of the resource that will appear in EcoPortal;
    • BaseURI: the URL necessary for the creation of a project. NOTE: if users do not have a BaseURI, the system will provide the following:
      • for ontologies;
      • for thesauri, glossaries or other loose sets of concepts.
    • Model: the model of the new project which can be OWL or SKOS. NOTE: To understand more about the SKOS model in EcoPortal it is recommended to read the following section.

Registration in VocBench and creation of a new semantic artefact

  1. Registered users can contact the Administrators at this email address, specifying:
    1. name of the new semantic artefact
    2. Base URI (check the previous paragraph for more specific information)
    3. Model (e.g. OWL, SKOS, RDFS, OntoLex, EDOAL)
    4. Lexicalization (e.g. RDFS, SKOS, SKOS-XL, OntoLex)
    5. specify which among history, validation, blacklisting, undo, trivial inference to have
    6. repository access (e.g. create a local project or a remote one), 7. configuration (e.g. native store, in memory, GraphDB) The request is then managed by the administrator that will create the new project and assign the role of Project Manager to the creator.

In the list of projects, there should be a new item for the project as shown below, with information related to name, model and lexicalization of the resource. It is indicated whether history and validation have been activated in the project. Lastly, the repository location is specified (e.g. local or remote).

List of projects in VocBench All subsequent steps require moving to the “Data” tab to edit the semantic artefact. In the “Scheme” tab, click on the create button to create a new skos:ConceptScheme ( []* ).

Scheme tab of the project in VocBench In the scheme creation dialog, specify the label of the concept scheme e.g., “continents” in English and then click on the Ok button.

Creation of a concept scheme in VocBench Then, select the newly created scheme as shown below.

Selection of a newly created scheme in VocBench In the Concept tab, click on the create button to create a new skos:Concept ( ()* ).

Concept tab of the project in VocBench In the concept creation dialog, specify the label of the concept e.g., “Africa” in English and then click on the Ok button. This label represents the skos:prefLabel of the concept.

Creation of a new concept in VocBench Do the same to create other concepts:

  • America
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Oceania
  • Antarctica The concept tree generated should contain a flat list of the five continents (Figure 29). It should be noted that the list of concepts generated is visualised in alphabetical order.

The concept tree in VocBench To add hierarchical depth to the structure, in the concept tab (Figure 30) select one continent and click on “Create narrow concept” button ( ()* ). Create narrow concept In the creation dialog (Figure 31), specify the label for the narrow concept e.g., “Italy” in English and then click on the Ok button. Wizard for the creation of narrower concept To understand in detail the different aspects of the user experience on VocBench, we recommend reading the following User Manual.

Import an excel into VocBench

VocBench uses the platform Sheet2RDF to generate RDF triples from datasheets. Sheet2RDF can be accessed by clicking on the Tool tab of the VocBench menu and selecting the Sheet2RDF entry. To use the Sheet2RDF tool correctly, it is essential to compile with the correct formatting where by each datasheet column represents a SKOS/OWL property. An illustrative example of a valid file format is provided here. For a comprehensive understanding of the user interface and the diverse functionalities of the tool, please consult this resource. The following example provides details about the SKOS concepts creation when using Sheet2RDF.

Example: After uploading the Excel file using the “Browse” button, select “Subject mapping” in red (see Figure 32). Users are then required to:

  1. Select the header that is going to be your Subject;
  2. Select on the “Assert type” check box;
  3. Click on the yellow circle and select “Concept”;
  4. In the “Converter” tab below, select “DefaultConverter”;
  5. In “Additional predicate-object” tab, click on the “plus” button on the side;
  6. Add the Predicate by selecting the SKOS property “inScheme”;
  7. Then select the Object by clicking on “Concept Scheme” and then on the scheme that you desire;
  8. Then click “OK”. Note: the Concept Scheme has to be created before uploading the SKOS concepts.

Subject header editor Upon executing these tasks, all headers should be highlighted in green (Figure 33).

Sheet2RDF tool If a header appears in yellow or black, clicking on the pencil icon next to the header will give the possibility to either manually map the SKOS/OWL property or ignore the header. Following this, the blue “play” button and the subsequent green one should be clicked to generate the PURL code and triples. After the triples are generated, navigating to the “Generated triples preview” tab allows users to click on the “Add triples” button, presenting all the information in the “Data” section.