Explanation of the data concepts

Dataset description

When the dataset description is retrieved and validated at source, it is stored in its own graph based on dcat:Dataset. The URL of the graph corresponds to the IRI of the dataset.

Dataset descriptions provided from schema.org - as advised in the Requirements for Datasets - are converted to DCAT.

The table below shows the properties that can appear in a dataset description:

Property Description Based on
dct:title Dataset title. schema:name
dct:alternative Dataset alternate title. schema:alternateName
dct:identifier Dataset identifier. schema:identifier
dct:description Dataset description. schema:description
dct:license Dataset license. schema:license
dct:language Language(s) in which the dataset is available. schema:inLanguage
dcat:keyword Keywords or tags that describe the dataset. schema:keywords
dcat:landingPage Keywords or tags that describe the dataset. schema:mainEntityOfPage
dct:source URL(s) of datasets the dataset is Gebaseerd op. schema:isBasedOn
dct:created Dataset creation date. schema:dateCreated
dct:issued Dataset publication date. schema:datePublished
dct:modified Dataset last modification date. schema:dateModified
owl:versionInfo Dataset version schema:version
dct:creator Dataset creator. schema:creator
dct:publisher Dataset publisher. schema:publisher
dcat:distribution Dataset distributions. schema:distribution
dct:isPartOf Data Catalog the dataset is part of. schema:includedInDataCatalog


Each dataset description has a dct:publisher and optionally also one or more dct:creators. A dct:publisher is the organization who publishes the dataset. A dct:creator is the organization that (originally) created the dataset.

Organizations have as type foaf:Organization and in addition to an IRI also the following properties:

Property Description Based on
foaf:name Organization name. schema:name


A dataset description can contain one or more distributions. A distribution specifies how the dataset can be retrieved (if it is a file/data dump) or queried (if it is on an API, such as OAI-PMH, SPARQL, etc.).

The table below lists the properties that can occur in a distribution:

Property Description Based on
dcat:accessUrl Distribution URL. schema:contentUrl
dcat:mediaType Distribution’s IANA media type. schema:fileFormat
dct:format Distribution content type (e.g. text/turtle). schema:encodingFormat
dct:issued Distribution publication date. schema:datePublished
dct:modified Distribution last modification date. schema:dateModified
dct:description Distribution description. schema:description
dct:language Distribution language. schema:inLanguage
dct:license Distribution license. schema:license
dct:title Distribution title. schema:name
dcat:byteSize Distribution’s download size in bytes. schema:contentSize