PROV: Three Years Later

A workshop endorsed by W3C at Provenance Week, June 6, 2016, Washington DC.

Organizing Committee

Luc Moreau (chair) University of Southampton
Phil Archer W3C
Reza B'Far Oracle
Yolanda Gil Information Science Institute
Paul Groth Elsevier Labs
Timothy Lebo Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Deborah Nichols The MITRE Corporation
Curt Tilmes National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Provenance Week 2016 will take place three years after the publication of the PROV recommendations and notes. The purpose of this workshop is twofold: 1) to collect practical experiences with using PROV in real-world applications so that we can take stock of its impact, and 2) to identify interoperability challenges with the current PROV specifications. The aim is to develop a community consensus around the priorities for PROV.


Provenance, defined as a record that describes the people, institutions, entities, and activities involved in producing, influencing, or delivering a piece of data or a thing, is crucial in deciding whether information is to be trusted, how it should be integrated with other diverse information sources, and how to give credit to its originators when reusing it. In many environments, such as the Web or the medical context where users find information that is uncertain or questionable, provenance can help those users to make trust judgements.

In 2013, the World Wide Web Consortium published PROV, a standard for expressing, sharing, and discovering provenance on the Web. It consists of a conceptual data model (PROV-DM), an OWL2 ontology (PROV-O), a textual notation (PROV-N), a set of constraints to check the consistency of provenance (PROV-CONSTRAINTS), an XML schema (PROV-XML), conventions for sharing and discovering provenance (PROV-AQ), and various other more focused specifications. Since then, PROV has seen adoption in some flagship applications, continued strong interest by the academic community, and promising tentative take-up in other standardization organizations, such as HL7 and OGC.

Three years later, it is time for provenance practitioners to take stock, reflect on their practical experiences with using PROV in their applications, understand the impact of PROV, and identify interoperability challenges and shortcomings with the current specifications. We invite the community to submit short position statements, which will be presented in "lightning talks" at a workshop on June 6, during Provenance Week. Talks will be grouped by topics of interest. The workshop organisers will act as facilitators, with the aim to develop a community consensus around the priorities for PROV. Position statements will be published online as a record of the workshop.

Topics of Interest

The following is a non-exhaustive list of topics for position statements reporting on experiences and impact:

  • API and software that use PROV
  • Datasets and resources that use PROV
  • Impact of provenance
  • Scalability
  • Presentation and explanation of provenance to users
  • Multi-level provenance (provenance of provenance)
  • Tradeoff and choices of different serializations

The following is a non-exhaustive list of topics for position statements reporting on interoperability and requirements:

  • Interoperability issues across serializations or within serializations
  • Missing features, expressivity shortcomings
  • Adoption hurdles
  • Security and provenance, provenance and signatures
  • Embedding provenance in various types of documents
  • Graphical representation of provenance
  • Inter-operability across standards
  • Extensions of PROV for additional requirements in different domains and applications
  • Abstraction of PROV records

Authors are strongly encouraged, where appropriate, to make an explicit link between requirements and application needs.

Workshop Format

Following this call for position statements, the workshop will be structured as follows.

  • “Lightning talks” grouped by themes
  • Open discussion about experiences and priorities
  • Next steps.


  • March 18, 2016: Call published
  • May 11, 2016: Deadline for submission
  • May 15, 2016: Workshop programme published
  • May 20, 2016: Registration closes
  • June 6, 2016: Workshop

Submission Procedure

Submit short position statements (ideally less than a page) through (please select the track "PROV: Three Years Later").

HTML or any format is welcome. Authors may want to submit documents in HTML, using the RASH framework (Research Articles in Simplified HTML). Mutliple submissions for different experiences and/or requirements are welcome. As we are keen to gather as many experiences and requirements as possible, it is acceptable for authors to submit position statements, even if they cannot physically attend the workshop, as long as they inform the organizers.


ProvenanceWeek 2016, June 6-9, 2016, is being hosted by The MITRE Corporation in McLean, Virginia, USA, a short metro ride from Washington D.C. The workshops IPAW and TAPP will be co-located during the week. The workshop "PROV: 3 Years Later" will take place on the afternoon of June 6. Entry to the workshop is free but we need to know who is coming (note that registrations close on May 20!). All registered attendees will be listed on the workshop Web site. Registration is through the Provenance Week registration page. Participants are cordially invited to register for subsequent Provenance Week events.