Developing ontologies in decentralised settings

I have placed a e-prints of a manuscript, on Nature preceedings, that I have been working on, in collaboration with the authors listed on the manuscript. It presents a review of the available published ontology engineering methodologies, and then assess their suitability when applied to community ontology development (the decentralised setting).

It is a lengthy document. Here is the abstract:

This paper addresses two research questions: “How should a well-engineered methodology facilitate the development of ontologies within communities of practice?” and “What methodology should be used?” If ontologies are to be developed by communities then the ontology development life cycle should be better understood within this context. This paper presents the Melting Point (MP), a proposed new methodology for developing ontologies within decentralized settings. It describes how MP was developed by taking best practices from other methodologies, provides details on recommended steps and recommended processes, and compares MP with alternatives. The methodology presented here is the product of direct first-hand experience and observation of biological communities of practice in which some of the authors have been involved. The Melting Point is a methodology engineered for decentralised communities of practice for which the designers of technology and the users may be the same group. As such, MP provides a potential foundation for the establishment of standard practices for ontology engineering.

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