I would like to kick off the discussion about Quality and Gatekeeping.
The Ontology Summit 2008 is only a few weeks away and there is much to
do! As the title of the discussion thread suggests, we have two tasks:
We need to develop a set of minimal requirements that any ontology
needs to fulfill in order to be accepted as part of the Open Ontology
Repository (= Gatekeeping). Further, we need to discuss the different
ways the quality of an ontology within the OOR can be evaluated and
what kind of services the OOR needs to provide to support these kinds
I suggest that we start with the gate keeping discussion: What are the
minimal criteria that an ontology needs to meet in order to be accepted
as part of the OOR? I would suggest to set the bar rather low and only
focus on criteria that ensure that it will be easy for the community to
use the ontology as resource.
Here is a list of requirements that would do that (some of these
principles are adopted from the OBO Foundry):
open and available to be used under the Creative Commons Attribution
without any constraint other than (a) its origin must be acknowledged
it is not to be altered and subsequently redistributed under the
This criterion is a specification of what "open"
in "Open Ontology Repository" means.
2. The ontology is expressed in a formal
language with a
Obviously, an ontology is going to be more
valuable to a
large audience if it is expressed in a widely used formal language, but
repository is not restricted to those.
The authors are required to provide a reference to a document
specifies a grammar of the formal language.
3. The authors of the ontology provide the
Pat Hayes and Michael Gruninger are championing a discussion about the
ontology of ontologies and metadata. This requirement will enforce the
use of the result of this discussion since it ensures that no ontology
can be submitted without providing the necessary metadata. The goal is
users to quickly survey the available ontologies and find the right
ones for them.
4. The ontology has a clearly specified and
The specification of the scope is strictly
speaking part of
the metadata but important enough to mention it explicitly. It enables
potential users to get an idea what a given ontology is about without
5. The ontology provider has procedures for
distinct successive versions.
I'll post this list also on the QualityAndGatekeeping wiki page:
This page will be updated with summaries of our discussion.