ABC Workshop

Organization of the Workshop

The ABC Workshop is an invitational workshop held under the auspices of the DSTC/JISC/NSF sponsored Harmony Project.  The organizing committee of the workshop is as follows, including the three Harmony PIs whose names are italicized.

See also: Draft agenda for ABC Workshop

Purpose of the Workshop

Collaborative projects in many application domains worldwide are focusing on defining metadata vocabularies for discovery, access negotiation, retrieval, collation, analysis, use, reuse and archiving of digital and other resources. Each of these domains could benefit if descriptions of resources defined by other domains were available to them. A conceptual model for interoperation between community metadata vocabularies could be a vehicle for such interoperability. Such a model would need to provide 1) a high level semantic model of the classes of entities that are common across individual metadata vocabularies, and 2) a formalism or architecture that will allow community-specific exploitation and principled extension of this shared model.  The model should encourage 1) extensions and refinements by individual metadata communities into vocabularies that support their individual requirements, 2) the formal expression of the relationships of these community vocabularies to the conceptual model, and 3) the use of these defined relationships by application writers of (search engines, browsing tools, etc.) to facilitate interoperability. This last point deserves special emphasis. The goal of the conceptual model is to facilitate machine interoperability.  Such a conceptual model is expected to coexist with community-specific metadata initiatives that might be more tailored towards other goals, such as understandability by humans who are both metadata creators and consumers.  

This invitational workshop is designed to produce a document that defines such a conceptual model. This document could be used and refined by individual metadata initiatives and application developers. An initial strawman for this document has been produced by the Harmony Researchers.

Dates, Times, and Place

Dates January 27-28, 2000
Times January 27 8AM-5PM
January 28 8AM-4PM
Place Coalition for Networked Information
Conference Room
21 Dupont Circle, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036

Meals and Lodging

Breakfast and lunch will be served at the Workshop on both days.  There will be a group dinner at a nearby restaurant on Thursday evening.

There is a block of rooms reserved at the workshop hotel:

Radison Barcelo Hotel
2121 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-293-3100
Fax: 202-857-0134

Rate: $115.00 Single/Double

ASK FOR: Association of Research Libraries' rate,

$115.00/single or double per night.


Workshop Process

The Harmony PIs are creating a working document that will act as the initial starting point for the Workshop.  This document is available at Our hope is to evolve the content of this document through email exchanges in the time leading up to the workshop. This can then set the stage for intensive work on the conceptual model during the workshop, with the goal of agreement on a final document that will become the publicly disseminated result of the workshop. Other workshop participants may assemble alternative documents that will be posted on this web site for discussion. Jennifer Trant will act as the facilitator during the actual workshop to help ensure progress towards our goals.

Workshop Mailing List

The archived mailing list meta-harmony has been set up at mailbase for workshop participants. To join this list send a message to the list owner at

While membership in this list is closed to workshop attendees, the archives will be open for public reading.

Confirmed Attendees

In addition to the ABC Workshop Organizing Committee members the following invitees have confirmed interest in attending at the Workshop.

In order to accomplish our goal of making rapid progress at the Workshop, the number of participants has had to be kept relatively small. Opportunities for involvement by other people will be available after the Workshop.