on May 13, 2011 by in Peer Review, Comments (0)

Review on “Community Driven Ontology Development”p

This is a review on community driven ontology development, by frank gibson and James Malone. this is a good article topic for the Ontogenesis Kblog — ontologies need to be used, and this usually means a community; though an ontology can be built by one person to be used in an application (so the users of the application ar the community and therefore somewhat indirect to the ontology). I think that starting the article with the (perhaps obvious) statement that if an ontology is to be used by a wider community then it meeds to engage that community would be good. There are few, if any, ontologies that are actually used widely that have small community engagement and/or are not collaboratively built in some way. It may be useful to distinguish between community involvement and collaboration. It is possible to have community engagement without collaborative authoring and it is possible to have collaborative authoring without community engagement (here I would say that feedback via issue trackers as OBO often do it is not collaborative authoring, but is a collaboration by commmunity engagement – and a useful one).

It might also be good to draw out the way many of the successful OBO ontologies do this sort of comunity driven aspect, especially where the dynamic nature of the authoring is an issue and what its consequences are. This might help talk about different types of engagement: Actual authoring; reporting of issues; etc. As the OBO process is pre-dominant in this field, it might be useful to describe their process more fully and this would link back to the drawing out of types of community engagement.

Finally, the article could do with some kind of conclusion, summary or wrapping up. Also, a further “how to” article on doing community driven development would be good.

Minor Comments

  • with slightly different defintions. = definitions.
  • – the The Open Biomedical Ontology = double word
  • – Foundry acts as a registry = a repository actual holds the artefact a registary simply catalogues the thing; I suspect the OBO Foundary would be a repository, though I’m not the person to say.

by Robert Stevens

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