The Unified Astronomy Thesaurus (UAT) is an open, interoperable and community-supported thesaurus being developed to unify the existing divergent and isolated Astronomy & Astrophysics thesauri into a single high-quality, freely-available open-source thesaurus which will be of immediate value to both research and research support, and provide a mechanism for reviewing, discussing and evaluating the continuous evolution of terminology in these fields.

The Unified Astronomy Thesaurus is a thesaurus maintained in RDF/SKOS format that shows astronomical terms and relationships between them. The UAT is meant to be:

  • open: anyone interested in Astronomy can contribute to the UAT by suggesting additions, refinements, revisions and modifications to it;
  • interoperable: the UAT can be used freely as an authority/reference by the astronomical community to help define terms and understand how these terms are related to other concepts in astronomy and astrophysics; and
  • community-supported: the UAT is supported by major stakeholders in the astronomical community (including journal publishers and professional societies like the IAU, AIP, IOP and AAS) for the benefit of all.

Technically speaking, the UAT is a thesaurus built using the Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) format, which is a fairly standard format for encoding and exchanging semantic information.