Ontologies Mapping: RFI and Guidelines

An RFI process launched to evaluate existing ontologies mapping tools

The Ontologies Mapping project has been set up to create better mapping tools and services, and to establish best practices for ontology management in the Life Sciences. This project will inform Pistoia Alliance members about “state of the art” tools and methodologies which map and visualise ontologies, to understand ontology structure, potential overlaps and equivalence of meaning between ontologies in the same data domain. A general description of the Ontologies Mapping project can be found at the project web page on this site:- http://www.pistoiaalliance.org/projects/ontologies-mapping

We have defined the detailed requirements for an Ontologies Mapping tool and used this to conduct an initial survey of existing mapping tools which found some are likely to substantially meet our requirements. Therefore, the process for a formal request for information (RFI) has been devised by the project team to allow us to evaluate existing mapping tools against our requirements. The RFI schedule starts in April and is expected to be completed by mid-June 2016.

It is expected that the participating tool providers will benefit from meaningful engagement with the Life Science industry. This year the Pistoia Alliance reached more than 100 member organisations which span all sizes of company such as large biopharmaceutical companies, product and service vendors including publishers, start-up small businesses and major academic institutions. This will give the tool provider participants highly valuable visibility and an understanding of the ontology mapping requirements of Pistoia member organisations. It will also give the tool providers a unique opportunity to demonstrate how well their product meets our requirements and it will generate valuable feedback on aspects which would benefit from further development.

It must be made clear that the Pistoia Alliance will not publicly recommend or rank or otherwise confer some kind of status or stratification on any third party solutions. The RFI results from participants will remain confidential to each tool provider and Pistoia Alliance members, although the general findings will be considered for sharing publicly with consent from the participants.

Contact ian.harrow@pistoiaalliance.org to express interest.

A public wiki for the Ontologies Guidelines for Best Practice

The Ontologies Guidelines for best practice supports the application and mapping of ontologies in the life sciences as part of the Pistoia Alliance Ontologies Mapping project.

Ontologies can include hierarchical relationships; taxonomies; classifications and/or vocabularies which are becoming increasingly important for support of research and development. They have numerous applications such as knowledge management, data integration and text mining where researchers need to analyse large quantities of complex data as part of their daily work.

The guidelines are designed to check how suitable source ontologies are for mapping. It places emphasis on the application of ontologies in the Life Science industry to encourage best practice and to explain how this relates to the mapping of ontologies in a particular domain. In some areas of Life Science such as Clinical Sciences, best practice is mature enough to be governed by appropriate authorities (e.g. FDA, CDISC, EMA, IDMP etc.), whereas in Preclinical and Translational Research areas, best practices and data standards tend to be much less mature and can even be absent. These guidelines will identify and align with existing communities and authorities, especially those that are relevant to research and early development for particular data domains regarded as critical to industry needs rather than the vast field of Life Science.

The Ontologies Guidelines for Best Practice are available on a publicly accessible wiki:- https://pistoiaalliance.atlassian.net/wiki/display/PUB/Ontologies+Mapping+Resources

Posted in Pistoia Alliance Blog and tagged .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *