Coordinating Coronavirus Research: The COVID-19 Infectious Disease Ontology

Proceedings of the International Conference on Biomedical Ontologies (2022)
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The COVID-19 pandemic prompted immense work on the investigation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Ontologies – structured, controlled, vocabularies – are designed to support consistency of interpretation, and thereby to prevent the development of data silos. This paper describes how ontologies are serving this purpose in the virus research domain, following the principles of the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontology (OBO) Foundry and drawing on the resources of the Infectious Disease Ontology (IDO) Core. We report the development of the Virus Infectious Disease Ontology (VIDO), a reference ontology extending IDO Core covering viral infectious diseases. We examine newly minted terms, showcase ontology term reuse, and illustrate the use of VIDO by annotating selections from recent life science research on SAR-CoV-2, in the interest of supporting machine learning projects.

Author Profiles

Regina Hurley
University at Buffalo
Eric Merrell
State University of New York (SUNY)
John Beverley
University at Buffalo
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