The evaluation of ontologies: Editorial review vs. democratic ranking

In Proceedings of InterOntology (Tokyo, Japan, 26-27 February 2008),. Keio University Press. pp. 127-138 (2008)
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Increasingly, the high throughput technologies used by biomedical researchers are bringing about a situation in which large bodies of data are being described using controlled structured vocabularies—also known as ontologies—in order to support the integration and analysis of this data. Annotation of data by means of ontologies is already contributing in significant ways to the cumulation of scientific knowledge and, prospectively, to the applicability of cross-domain algorithmic reasoning in support of scientific advance. This very success, however, has led to a proliferation of ontologies of varying scope and quality. We define one strategy for achieving quality assurance of ontologies—a plan of action already adopted by a large community of collaborating ontologists—which consists in subjecting ontologies to a process of peer review analogous to that which is applied to scientific journal articles.

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Barry Smith
University at Buffalo


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