[tdwg-tag] Ontology methods (was: Re: Embedding specimen (and other) annotations in NeXML)

Jonathan Rees jar at creativecommons.org
Mon Feb 23 23:27:48 CET 2009

As far as I'm aware the group with the greatest experience in ontology
building - admittedly a young field - is OBO Foundry. The organizers
have thought hard about good practice and community process and have
practical experience with what does and doesn't work. The group says
they're about biomedical ontologies, but there's nothing about their
practices that wouldn't work in taxonomy-related domains.


They are concerned with taxonomy, of course, but mostly as it relates
to model organisms. Discussions about how to treat taxa have come up
recently and I have told them they should look to the community that
has fought these wars already...

Personally I'd like to see a lot more cross-fertilization between
taxonomy (biodiversity, collections, ...) and biomedical domains. For
example, collections issues come up in contexts such as pathology and
biological materials (plasmids etc.). Anatomy is probably another
point of overlap. I'm not saying you should join, but I urge you to
see if there's anything in what they do you might learn from - and
vice versa.

Jonathan Rees
Science Commons

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