Posts Tagged review

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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PEFF:A Common Sequence Database Format in Proteomics

Robotic preparation of MALDI mass spectrometry...Image via Wikipedia

PEFF:A Common Sequence Database Format in Proteomics is now available for Public Comment on the PSI Web site ( The public comment period enables the wider community to provide feedback on a proposed standard before it is formally accepted, and thus is an important step in the standardisation process.

This document presents a unified format for protein and nucleotide sequence databases to be used by sequence search engines and other associated tools (spectra library search tools, sequence alignment software, data repositories, etc). This format enables consistent extraction, display and processing of information such as protein/nucleotide sequence database entry identifier, description, taxonomy, etc. across software platforms. It also allows the representation of structural annotations such as post-translational modifications, mutations and other processing events. The proposed format has the form of a flat file that extends the formalism of the individual sequence entries as presented in a FASTA format and that includes a header of meta data to describe relevant information about the database(s) from which the sequence has been obtained (i.e., name, version, etc). The format is named PEFF (PSI Extended FASTA Format). Sequence database providers are encouraged to generate this format as part of their release policy or to provide appropriate converters that can be incorporated into processing tools.

This is an announcement to encourage you to contribute to the standards development activity by commenting on the material that is available online. We invite both positive and negative comments. If negative comments are being made, these could be on the relevance, clarity, correctness, appropriateness, etc, of the proposal as a whole or of specific parts of the proposal.

If you do not feel well placed to comment on this document, but know someone who may be, please consider alerting them towards this information. There is no requirement that people commenting should have had any prior contact with the PSI

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