Web services provide a standard means for the interoperable operations between electronic devices in a network. The mission of Web service discovery is to seek an appropriate Web service for a service requester on the basis of the service descriptions in Web service advertisements and the service requester's requirements. Nevertheless, the standard language used for encoding service descriptions does not have the capacity to specify the capabilities of a Web service, leading to the problem of ambiguity in the service discovery process. This brings up the vision of Semantic Web Services and Semantic Web Service discovery, which make use of the Semantic Web technologies to enrich the semantics of service descriptions for service discovery. Semantic Web Service matchmakers are the programs or frameworks designed to implement the task of Semantic Web Service discovery and have drawn a significant amount of attention from both academia and industry from the start of this century. In this paper, we conduct a survey of the contemporary Semantic Web Service matchmakers in order to obtain an overview of the state of the art in this research area. We summarize six technical dimensions from the past literature and analyze the typical Semantic Web Service matchmakers mostly developed during the past 4 or 5 years in terms of the six dimensions. By means of this analysis, we gain an understanding of the current research and summarize a series of potential issues to that would provide the foundation for future research in this area.Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.