NPG Subjects Ontology

The NPG Subjects Ontology is a polyhierarchical categorization of scholarly subject areas which are used for the indexing of content by Springer Nature. It includes subject terms of varying levels of specificity such as Biological sciences (top level), Cancer (level 2), or B-2 cells (level 7). In total there are more than 2750 subject terms, organised into a polyhierarchical tree using the SKOS vocabulary.


Owned/Developed by:

Adopted by Organizations / Publishers:

How is this KM applied?

Applied manually, by authors or editorial staff as part of the standard publishing workflow, or by professional indexers

Description of the current use cases of the KM

The NPG Subjects Ontology constitutes the main backbone of subject areas, a new section on that allows users to browse content topically rather than navigate via the more usual journal paradigm. Each of the terms in the ontology includes a link to the relevant subject page on

Is the KM being actively developed?

Yes, internally

 License Information:

CC0 –