CLAVAS: vocabulary service

CMDI 1.2 adds the ability to link external vocabularies to a Component Metadata profile. Currently the CLARIN Component Registry only supports vocabularies from CLAVAS!


Currently the following vocabularies are offered:

ISO 639-3 (hdl:11459/CLAVAS_810f8d2a-6723-3ba6-2e57-41d6d3844816)
Codes for the representation of names of languages - Part 3: Alpha-3 code for comprehensive coverage of languages. ISO 639-3 attempts to provide as complete an enumeration of languages as possible, including living, extinct, ancient, and constructed languages, whether major or minor, written or unwritten. This vocabulary of ISO 639-3 codes is alligned with the CMDI Component iso-639-3 (

And the following vocabularies are being discussed or under construction:

media types (also known as MIME types)

In general interaction with CLAVAS will happen via the Component Registry. Metadata modellers can select a CLAVAS vocabulary as either an open or closed external vocabulary. In both cases the PID of the vocabulary will be registered with the selected element or attribute. In the case of an closed vocabulary the vocabulary items will be actually taken over in the component specification as the permissible values. The CLAVAS API can be used by an editor to help users in selecting a valid value for the metadata element or attribute. In the case a vocabulary is used as an open vocabulary no permissible values are stored in the component specification/. The CLAVAS API can now be used by an editor to help users by proposing values (from the vocabulary) for the metadata element or attribute.


The two most interesting calls are currently:

autocomplete{search term}
note: this call still needs a way to specify the vocabulary to search!

See the OpenSKOS API documentation for other possibilities.

Note: the URIs of ConceptSchemes (the vocabularies) and Concepts (the vocabulary items) are persistent, but other (OpenSKOS) classes, e.g., tenant, set and user, are not and might thus change anytime.

Frequently Asked Questions
Can I have my own vocabulary in CLAVAS?
CLAVAS can be extended with new vocabularies (see contact). However, to prevent proliferation the scope of the vocabulary should be sufficiently distinctive from already included vocabularies, e.g., there will not be two or even more vocabularies of licenses. So if your vocabulary is included in CLAVAS its also expected that you'll actively take part in caring for it, i.e., interact with users and discuss changes and additions.
  1. H. Brugman. CLAVAS: a CLARIN Vocabulary And Alignment Service. In J. Odijk & A. van Hessen (eds.), CLARIN in the Low Countries, Ubiquity Press. (forthcomming)

For any additional information feel free to contact:

 Menzo Windhouwer (CLARIN ERIC/Meertens Institute)


CLAVAS was started as a CLARIN-NL project lead by Hennie Brugman (Meertens Institute).

Change log


  1. Move from to
  2. Upgrade from OpenSKOS 1 to 2
  3. Cleanup of vocabularies