Solicitation for Survey Input    (29HS)

Your input is needed!    (29HT)

Dear Colleagues,    (29HU)

I write to you as individuals with an interest in the field of ontology, the availability of quality, trained ontologists, and/or the availability of high-quality ontology training. Whether you are an ontologist yourself, an employer of ontologists, someone who depends on the output of ontologists, or someone who is seeking training in ontology, your input is needed and wanted.    (29HV)

Bottom Line Up Front:    (29HW)

At, you will find links to three surveys.    (29HX)

These surveys have the potential to influence the development of recognized, reliable training for future ontologists. Your input will feed this development. To add your voice and insights, go to the link above, and follow the directions to the surveys appropriate to your relationship to ontology and ontology training. The surveys close on 25 Feb 2010.    (2AO4)

UPDATE: By popular request, the surveys have been re-opened! The 4 March and probably 11 March virtual sessions (ConferenceCall_2010_03_04 and ConferenceCall_2010_03_11, respectively) will be based primarily on responses received by 25 Feb. However, additional responses received through 11 March, 2010 will be incorporated into the Survey-2 (Training Requirements) presentation at the face-to-face OntologySummit2010_Symposium. Analysis of additional responses to the other surveys is less certain before the Symposium, but organizers hope that time will permit their incorporation as well.    (2AO5)

Background:    (29I0)

This year's annual Ontology Summit ( is focused on the development of future ontologists. More specifically, the summit's main tracks concern (a) the content of present and future training, (b) the means by which quality, of both training and the ontologists who come out of it, can best be assured, and (c) the requirements such training should be designed to meet. To quote from the Summit's main page:    (29I1)

Increasingly, major national and international projects centered on ontology technology are being advanced by governments and by scientific and industrial organizations. This brings a growing need for ontology expertise and thus for new methods and institutions for the training of ontologists. The 2010 Ontology Summit will explore strategies to address this need in terms of curriculum, establishment of new career tracks, role of ontology support organizations and funding agencies, as well as training in the analysis and comparison of methodologies for designing, maintaining, implementing, testing and applying ontologies and associated tools and resources.    (29I2)

The development of quality training, on which both ontologists and employers can rely, depends very much on a solid understanding of the field into which trained ontologists will be deployed. Our field is young and highly varied. We need a better, more consistent and shared picture of that field if we are to succeed, as the Summit's theme puts it, in "creating the ontologists of the future."    (29I3)

To that end this year's Ontology Summit incorporates the trio of surveys described above. These surveys are intended to gather community input regarding (a) existing training for ontologists, (b) requirements for ontologists' successful employment and deployment, from which training requirements may be derived, and (c) views of the future of ontology, as seen from various positions in the ontology landscape and environment.    (29I4)

These surveys have the potential to help us develop a better-informed, more broadly-based understanding of our field. From that understanding, the ontology community is better equiped to identify consensus bodies of knowledge where they exist and to develop such knowledge where it is still lacking. From that understanding, we are better able to develop training content and curricula at various levels and for various purposes yet based on recognized core knowledge, skills, and best practices.    (29I5)

Please go to and add your experience, point of view, needs, and suggestions. Remember, if you have nearly any relationship to ontology at all, your input is relevant to at least survey # 2 (you will be asked about your relationship to ontology as part of the survey, so analysis can include patterns of response across the community).    (29I6)

Thanks and Best Regards,    (29I7)

Amanda Vizedom,    (29IE)

on behalf of the Ontology Summit 2010 Organizing Committee    (29I8)

NB: If you're interested in further discussion, analysis of the survey results, and working toward "Creating the Ontologists of the Future," it's not too late to participate in the Summit. As in past years, Ontology Summit 2010 takes the form of a series of virtual sessions occurring over almost 3 months, with asynchronous online activity between, culminating in a face-to-face final session on the NIST campus in Gaithersburg, MD. Presentations, recordings, and transcripts from all sessions to date are available from the main Ontology Summit 2010 page on the Ontolog Wiki: Catch up on some or all of the proceedings so far and join us for the next virtual session on 4 March, online discussion, and the face-to-face conclusion on 15&16 March.    (29I9)