Submission Type: presentation proposal
Keywords: ontology, Basic Formal Ontology, OWL
TL;DR: We propose to develop a consistent, sufficient, BFO based ontology for representing scholarship as a second version of the VIVO ontology
Abstract: A second version of the VIVO ontology. We propose to develop a consistent, sufficient, BFO based ontology for representing scholarship. By consistent, we mean the ontology uses a single approach to representation. Using a single approach, we expect to simplify the ontology -- patterns are reused and complexity reduced. By sufficient, we mean we cover the domain of scholarship at the level necessary to represent and use information about scholarship. The ontology is informed by its applications. By BFO-based, we mean we commit to an approach to representation based on the Basic Formal Ontology. The approach is well-understood and well-adopted in the ontology community. The domain of the ontology is well-defined and stable. Why a new ontology, and why now? The original work on the VIVO ontology began in 2007 at Cornell. The 2009 NIH grant significantly expanded the ontology. The 2013 CTSA Connect effort significantly re-engineered the ontology attempting to bring the ontology to standards current at the time, and introducing BFO as an upper level ontology, but the effort was never completed, and introduction of the new ontology (VIVO version 1.6) was not accompanied by sufficient tooling, training, and time to manage the community change. Since 2013, the ontology has essentially been frozen. As development seeks to create an interface between the ontology and the presentation software, there is an opportunity to create an ontology that is independent of the software and can be mapped to it. Benefits of a new ontology. The new ontology will: Add to our ability to represent all of scholarship, including the arts, peer review, new research outputs, research impact, and global needs Adopt current ontological best practice including tooling, OBO Principles, focus on the domain of scholarship and expertise, and use only those ontologies that are aligned Use simple, consistent representations supporting ontological reasoning Be appropriate for use by any project seeking to build and use research graphs How and when. A new ontology could be developed in three phases by the Ontology Interest Group of the VIVO Project, working in collaboration with other projects, ontologists, developers, and community members. All are welcome to join the effort. A second phase would be necessary for refinement, testing, and tooling for adoption. A third phase is need for community change management, mapping to presentation data structures, testing, and training. The existing ontology (version 1.x) will continue to be supported indefinitely.