DERI submits semantic web standards proposal

20 Aug 2007

National University of Ireland Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) has submitted a semantically interlinked online communities (SIOC) specification for connecting online communities to the World Wide Web Consortium, the internet standards organisation.

The SIOC specification enables the exploitation of knowledge created by communities on the Web in applications such as blogging, message boards and media sharing. It has been initiated at DERI and co-developed with a wide range of companies, research organisations and volunteers around the world.

SIOC is already widely deployed on the web, with extensions for popular systems such as WordPress, a widespread blogging application; Drupal, a popular content management system; and phpBB, an open source forum software. Several Web 2.0 companies use SIOC for the exchange and aggregation of community information.

“DERI is playing a leading role in creating cutting-edge web technology and standard proposals,” said Professor Stefan Decker, director of DERI. “SIOC is just another example of how technology developed in Ireland is changing the world and the web for the better, enabling new opportunities for Irish and European industry. The investment Ireland has made is starting to pay off.”

The SIOC project is headed by Dr John Breslin, DERI researcher and co-founder of, Ireland’s largest online discussion community, and fellow researcher Uldis Bojars.

DERI was founded in 2003 with CSET (Centre for Science and Engineering Technology) funding from Science Foundation Ireland. It now employs over 100 people and has acquired significant additional research funding from sources such as the European Union Framework Programmes, Enterprise Ireland and industrial partnerships.

By Niall Byrne