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Re: [ontology-summit] [Quality] What means "open" in "Open Ontology Repo

To: Ontology Summit 2008 <ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 2008 17:46:30 -0500
Message-id: <p06230908c400aea4e5ba@[]>
At 5:40 PM -0400 3/14/08, Fabian Neuhaus wrote:
>Dear All,
>As part of the discussion on gatekeeping we need to come to an agreement
>on the scope of the repository. In particular, what do we mean by
>"open"? Coming from the OBO (= Open Biomedical Ontologies) Community I
>understood "open" in "Open Ontology Repository" to express that the
>ontologies within the OOR are resources that is created by a community
>of users and can be used by everybody with virtually no legal
>restrictions.    (01)

That is my understanding of the term also.    (02)

>  Matthew West pointed out that within the standards
>community  "open" just means "that there is an open process for its
>development and the resolution of issues raised against it, which, in
>principle at least, anyone can take part in." The result of an open
>process in this sense (like ISO 15926) might be an ontology protected by
>a copyright that prohibits republishing  and its documentation might not
>be available for free.
>I would like to hear what people think is the best way to go.    (03)

The first. Only the ISO has this absurd policy of 
charging cash for standards; moreover, I would 
not say that Matthew's interpretation of 'open' 
is universally accepted. The W3C is not open in 
this sense, for example.    (04)

>Is the OOR supposed restricted to ontologies that are developed in an
>open process and come with very light weight copyright licenses (e.g. *
>*Creative Commons Attribution )?    (05)

Certainly the latter. Lets take a stand on this. 
It does not eliminate ISO participation, but it 
does require them to make any relevant standards 
freely available. They can do this, and have done 
it in the past. Putting something into the OOR 
should make it automatically available for access 
and use without restriction; like the GNU 
licences, it should not permit other copyright 
restrictions to be 'passed through' its open 
policy.    (06)

>Or is OOR open for all ontologies that are developed in an open process
>regardless of their copyright license?
>Would the OOR be open for ontologies that are developed and maintained
>by a group of people who don't want to participate in an open process
>but are willing to publish their ontology as a freely available resource
>for the community?    (07)

I have no problem with that part. We should 
permit ontologies that were constructed by one 
person in total privacy, or written on stone 
tablets by God, as long as they are freely 
available for public use without restriction. 
This is what 'open' means in 'open cyc', for 
example.    (08)

Pat    (09)

>matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx wrote:
>>  Dear Fabian,
>>  Well most of this looks OK, but see my comments below.
>>  Regards
>>  Matthew West
>>  Reference Data Architecture and Standards Manager
>>  Shell International Petroleum Company Limited
>>  Registered in England and Wales
>>  Registered number: 621148
>>  Registered office: Shell Centre, London SE1 7NA, United Kingdom
>>  Tel: +44 20 7934 4490 Mobile: +44 7796 336538
>>  Email: matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx
>>  http://www.shell.com <http://www.shell.com/>
>>  http://www.matthew-west.org.uk/
>>      Dear All
>>      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 of evaluation.
>>      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):  <!--[endif]-->** 
>>  MW: Well you could consider me as the "custodian" of ISO 15926 for
>>  these purposes, so let us see how these apply here. Actually the first
>>  one is easily the toughest.
>>      *1. The ontology is open and available to be used under the
>>      Creative Commons Attribution license without any constraint other
>>      than (a) its origin must be acknowledged and (b) it is not to be
>>      altered and subsequently redistributed under the original name.*
>>      <!--[endif]-->
>  >
>>      This criterion is a specification of what "open" in "Open Ontology
>>      Repository" means. 
>>  MW: Not really, at least  if it is, all we know is that an open
>>  ontology is an ontology that is open and ....
>>  MW:  What being open means in standardisation circles is that there is
>>  an open process for its development and the resolution of issues
>>  raised against it, which, in principle at least, anyone can take part
>>  in. It is this anyone being able to take part which makes it open. ISO
>>  15925 meets this definition of open.
>>  MW: Now ISO 15926 is of course ISO copyright and certainly does not
>>  have a Creative Commons Attribution license, but you can access the
>>  computer interpretable form from the internet for free, and indeed the
>>  basic documentation, though you have to pay for the full
>>  documentation. It might also be a problem if you made a copy available
>>  (republishing) without authority, rather than pointing to the
>>  original. Is it your intention to exclude material of this kind? Or do
>>  you intend to modify the requirement?
>>      2. *The ontology is expressed in a formal language with a
>>      well-defined syntax. *
>>      Obviously, an ontology is going to be more valuable to a large
>>      audience if it is expressed in a widely used formal language, but
>>      the repository is not restricted to those.  The authors are
>>      required to provide a reference to a document that specifies a
>>      grammar of the formal language.   <!--[endif]-->
>>  MW: Well ISO 15926 is available in EXPRESS and OWL both of which have
>>  appropriate documentation.
>>      3. *The authors of the ontology provide the required metadata.*
>>      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 to enable users to quickly survey the
>>      available ontologies and find the right ones for them. 
>>  MW: You need to say what that is, and it needs to be reasonable, but
>>  this should  be a problem.
>>      4.* The ontology has a clearly specified and clearly delineated
>>      scope.*
>>      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 browsing the ontology.
>>      <!--[endif]-->
>>  MW: And if it is an upper ontology, so it does not really have a
>>  limited scope? Is it enough to say it is an upper ontology?
>>      5. *The ontology provider has procedures for identifying distinct
>>      successive versions.*
>>      <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[endif]-->
>>      I'll post this list also on the QualityAndGatekeeping wiki page:
>>      This page will be updated with summaries of our discussion. 
>>  MW: ISO does this, but there can be idiosynchasies I won't go into here.
>>      Best
>>      Fabian
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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