LOTERRE - Linked Open TERminology REsources

picto Loterre ?

Loterre ?

Loterre ?

Browse through this FAQs to find answers to commonly raised questions about Loterre.

Presentation of Loterre

What is Loterre?

Loterre (acronym for Linked open terminology resources) is a platform for exposing and sharing multidisciplinary and multilingual scientific terminology.
Based on a triplestore, it complies with open and linked data (LOD) web standards and FAIR principles, which aim to make data Easy to find, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable.

Who is Loterre for?

The terminology available in Loterre can meet the needs of text-mining, semantic annotation, information retrieval or translation.
Access to the resources sotred in Loterre is open to all, with the subsequent use of each one being linked to the license that governs it.

What is Loterre used for?

Loterre gives access to scientific terminology resources and allows:

  • to browse them
  • to search them via a search engine, a SPARQL endpoint and an API
  • to download them in several formats

Loterre also offers online services, the content of which is detailed in the “Loterre services” paragraph of this page.

Who can expose a terminology in Loterre?

Loterre is not restricted to Inist terminological resources. It offers its services to other producers of terminological data, provided they have requested the service using the proposition form.

Interested producers are invited to read the Loterre Charter.

Loterre and FAIR principles?

The FAIR principles (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, Reusability) applicable to the scientific data were developed by Force11 and published by Wilkinson et al. in 2016 (The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship). The steps involved in FAIRification have been explained by GO FAIR.

These principles form a guide to good practice for the management and reuse of data and metadata by both machines and humans. However, they do not constitute a specification because they do not recommend any particular standard, technology or data format.

In addition, FAIR data are not necessarily “open” and may have different degrees of FAIRness and/or openness. LOD (based on semantic web standards) and FAIR (based on principles) should not be confused: see on this subject “Cloudy, increasingly FAIR; revisiting the FAIR Data guiding principles for the European Open Science Cloud” (2017)

The terminology (meta)data presented in Loterre meets all the FAIR principles. Indeed, they are:

  • Findable: concept associated with a unique and persistent identifier (URI)
  • Accessible: free and open access protocol (http)
  • Interoperable: language for knowledge sharing and representation (SKOS)
  • Reusable: clearly defined user license (CC or Etalab)

They can also participate in the FAIRification of (meta)research data by promoting their semantic interoperability (through vocabulary or thesaurus concepts).

Similarly, the Check, Transform and Align services aim to facilitate the creation and enrichment of terminology in SKOS/RDF-XML format according to FAIR practices.

Loterre and the Inist terminologies that the platform hosts are reported in the FAIRSharing portal: https://fairsharing.org/collection/Loterre

Loterre and Linked Open Data?

Loterre aims to comply with the principles of LOD (Linked Open Data) as presented in 2006 by W3C (Tim Berners-Lee): terminology resources are considered here as organized sets of terms (designating concepts) that are freely accessible via semantic web technologies.

Linked Data or “web of linked data” is based on 4 basic rules:

  1. Identify each resource (or concept) by a URI (Uniform Resource Identifier)
  2. Use HTTP URIs (dereferenceable) to access information on these resources
  3. When dereferencing a URI, return to structured data using the W3C family of standards: model (triplets RDF) and languages (SKOS, RDFS, OWL…) to describe them; SPARQL to query them
  4. Link concepts (RDF data) belonging to different vocabularies or terminologies through alignments via their URIs, in order to create a network of RDF links and thus discover new relationships

By adding open licenses for the distribution and reuse of resources published on the web, Loterre complies with the rules of “Linked Open Data”.

T. Berners-Lee also proposed a progressive classification of LODs with 5 stars according to the following criteria:

* Data freely available on the web, with mention of an open license

** Data in a structured, machine-readable format

*** Non proprietary formats (CSV, JSON, …)

**** W3C open standards (RDF, XML, SPARQL) and URI as resource identifier

***** Data linked to other RDF data via alignments in the LOD Cloud

Finally, the resources integrated into the triplestore are intended, as far as possible, to comply with W3C best practices for the publication of related data (W3C, 2014).

All the resources exposed in Loterre are compatible with these rules and principles and can be classified as 4 or 5 stars:

  • Free (lo) and/or open (CC BY) license
  • Standard formats: SKOS, XML, JSON-LD, CSV
  • Alignable URIs

Loterre terminologies

What types of terminology are integrated into Loterre?

It is aimed, wherever possible, that the resources integrated into the triplestore conform to good practices of the W3C relative to the publication of linked data.

Ideally, they should respect the criteria allocated to “5 star” data: Linked Data – Design Issues

  • Data freely accessible on the web (with the mention of an open licence);
  • Data in a structured format (readable by the machine);
  • No-ownership format (CSV, RDF, etc.);
  • W3C and URI standards to identify each resource;
  • Data linked to other RDF data via alignments.

Schematically, the terminological resources exposed on Loterre can be of the type:

  • Vocabulary in the wider sense of the term: Glossaries, lists of terms, Thesaurus;
  • Taxonomies (classification plans and similar elements).

The data of lexical resource types, resources of content or ontology analyses, can only be integrated into Loterre if they are converted into the SKOS format, which can involve a loss of information compared to the original content.

The resources may:

  • Present a hierarchy: simple, multiple, or none;
  • Include groupings (collections, groups, fields, facets).
What is the linguistic coverage of the terminologies exposed in Loterre?

The resources exposed in Loterre may:

  • Be monolingual, provided the language is French or English;
  • Be multilingual, provided that one of the languages is either French or English.

The possibilities of posting and searching in a given language are linked to the characteristics of exposure/queries tools connected to the triplestore.

What types of licenses should govern the terminologies exposed?

The resources exposed in Loterre must have a license authorizing the availability and reuse of data, such as:

  • creative commons: http://creativecommons.fr/licences/
  • ODC-By: https://opendatacommons.org/licenses/by/1-0/
  • ODbL: https://opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/1.0/
  • Open Licence (Etalab): https://www.etalab.gouv.fr/licence-ouverte-open-licence
  • PDDL: https://opendatacommons.org/licenses/pddl/1-0/
  • PDM: https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/
What is the data model for the terminologies in Loterre?

The terminological data integrated in the triplestore are expressed according to a model of the type “extended SKOS”, which associates a certain number of categories belonging to other formats or languages (SKOS-XL, Dublin Core, Isothes, OWL, RDFS, etc.) to the SKOS standard.

Ontology of Loterre (click on the picture to reduce it)

How are the terminologies displayed in Loterre selected?

Terminologies proposed by third parties are subject to a review based on quality and format criteria. The owners of the Loterre site reserve the right to moderate the proposals received. They may refuse to integrate a terminology if they consider that it does not meet the criteria governing the platform.

What is the scientific cover of the terminologies exposed in Loterre?

The scientific cover of data exposed on Loterre is multidisciplinary and depends on one or several of the following scientific fields:

  • Sciences and technology
    • Mathematics
    • Algebra
    • Mathematical analysis
    • Numerical analysis, scientific computation
    • Combinatorics, ordered structures
    • Geometry
    • Probability and statistics
    • Dynamic systems, global analysis and analysis on manifolds
    • Group theory
    • Topology, manifolds and cell complexes
  • Physics
    • Acoustics
    • Crystallography
    • Electromagnetism, optics
    • Solid mechanics, fluid dynamics, rheology
    • Metrology
    • Atomic and molecular physics
    • Condensed-matter physics
    • Physics of gases and plasmas
    • Nuclear physics
    • Classical physics, quantum physics, statistical physics, relativity and gravitation
    • Thermodynamics, heat transfer
  • Earth and universe sciences
    • Aeronomy, meteorology, climatology
    • Astronomy
    • Geology, internal geophysics
    • Glaciology
    • Oceanography
  • Chemistry
    • Analytical chemistry
    • Theoretical chemistry, general chemistry and physical chemistry
    • Inorganic chemistry
    • Organic chemistry
  • Engineering
    • Aeronautics, transportation
    • Operational research, control theory
    • Electronics, computer sciences
    • Energy, electrical engineering, electrical power engineering
    • Chemical engineering, chemical and parachemical industry
    • Civil engineering, buildings and public works
    • Mechanical engineering
    • Metallurgy
    • Polymer industry, paints, wood
    • Telecommunication, signal theory and processing
  • Nanosciences, nanotechnology
  • Life sciences, environmental sciences
    • Biology, health
      • Molecular and structural biology, biochemistry
      • Genetics, genomics, bioinformatics
      • Animal cellular and developmental biology, zoology, veterinary sciences
      • Physiology, pathophysiology, systemic medical biology
      • Neurobiology
      • Immunology, microbiology, virology, parasitology
      • Epidemiology, public health, clinical research, biomedical technologies, pharmacology, toxicology, medical sciences
    • Environmental sciences
      • Plant cellular and developmental biology, botany
      • Evolution, ecology, population biology
      • Biotechnologies, environmental sciences, synthetic biology, agronomy, forestry, food industry
  • Humanities and social sciences
    • Markets and organisations
      • Economy
      • Finance, management
    • Standards, institutions and social behaviour
      • Law
      • Political sciences
      • Anthropology and ethnology
      • Sociology, demography
      • Information and communication sciences
    • Space, environment and society
      • Geography
      • Land and urban planning
      • Architecture
    • Human spirit, language, education
      • Linguistics
      • Psychology
      • Educational sciences
      • Science and technology in physical activities and sport
    • Languages, texts, arts and cultures
      • Ancient and french languages and literature, comparative literature
      • Foreign literatures and languages, civilisations, regional cultures and languages
      • Arts
      • Philosophy, religion sciences, theology
    • Ancient and contemporary worlds
      • History
      • History of art
      • Archeology

Loterre conception

What architecture is supporting Loterre?

The architecture of Loterre is based on a triplestore connected with a browsing tool and searchable via a SPARQL interface and an API.


To offer its users access to terminologies, Loterre calls upon various open-source tools:

Loterre services

What services are offered in Loterre?

In addition to downloading terminological data, Loterre offers a range of services for terminology producers, whether or not they want to share their work in Loterre.
The Check, Transform and Align services aim at facilitating the creation and enrichment of SKOS/RDF-XML terminological files, in accordance with the FAIR data principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable).

n.b.: The user data are not stored by Inist-CNRS.

What can be done with the “Download” service?

The “Downlaod” service will allow you to download the full content of one of the resources stored in the Loterre triplestore, in a PDF, CSV or SKOS/XML format

From the Loterre platform, you can also:

One of your questions still remains unanswered? Ask it directly with the contact form.