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

To: Ontology Summit 2008 <ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Bill Bug <wbug@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2008 16:13:52 -0400
Message-id: <0288B405-FDC7-407A-98F0-45D08B85D32A@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Mar 19, 2008, at 2:13 PM, Pat Hayes wrote:

Barry summarized very well what the goal of gatekeeping is: "if an OOR is to be useful, then potential users need to have reliable expectations as to what it will contain".

It seems to me that the best way - perhaps the only way - to determine this, is to read the ontology itself (or to put it through more dynamic tests, such as inputting to a reasoner or trying its effect on a battery of test cases.)  What more does Barry expect by way of telling a potential user what it will contain? Can we see some examples? For example, consider the OWL-Time ontology, with a covering statement consisting of the observation that it is an ontology of time and temporal relationships, including dates and time-zones, intended for general use, and written in OWL-DL. Would that suffice?

I'm pretty certain part of what is wrapped up in "reliable expectations" extends beyond the current content of the ontology.  I believe there is also an interest in indicating something regarding whether the ontology is in an active state of development, in use by a significant community of users, and does it have some versioning policy in place. Such characteristics are part of the OBO Foundry principles (http://www.obofoundry.org/crit.shtml).  This is a similar criterion many use when trying to evaluate whether to use an existing open source software library or application - the idea being users want to know what their liabilities might be by investing significant time in using this particular tool.


William Bug, M.S., M.Phil.                                          email: wbug@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Ontological Engineer work: (610) 457-0443
Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN)
National Center for Microscopy & 
Imaging Research (NCMIR)
Dept. of Neuroscience, School of Medicine
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093

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