COBrA-CT: An e-science tool for ontology curation.

  • Webber, Bonnie (Principal Investigator)

Project Details

Layman's description

Data curation is important for many scientific communities and in standards initiatives, and curation has been recognised as a priority for e-Science. Ontologies are of central importance in curation, as only by defining the meaning of terms can the underlying concepts be clarified and agreed upon among the research community, and used consistently for annotating data. Ontologies themselves change and so can be considered to be the objects of curation.
However, ontologies are not static: they must change to reflect changes in science, to adapt to new uses and new encodings, to broaden their community or to remedy flaws. We address the re-formatting, editing and version management problems that arise when bio-ontologies are converted to the standard language developed for ontologies - OWL. OWL provides powerful knowledge representation features and is supported by tools and reasoners that can be usefully exploited by bioinformaticians and biologists.

Key findings

This project contributed to the de-facto standard for the representation on biomedical ontologies in the OWL language (a W3C standard). This activity was a collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley), Center for Biomedical Informatics Research (Stanford University) and latterly the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology (University of Texas) (Tirmizi, 2011).
The key software output of this project is the OBO Explorer - a plug-in for the widely-used Protege ontology editor (developed at Stanford) that enables users to create ontologies in the new OWL representation.
Tirmizi, S.H. et al. (2011) J. Biomedical Semantics 2 (Suppl):S3. doi:10.1186/2041-1480-2-S1-S3
Effective start/end date1/10/0531/03/07


  • BBSRC: £61,105.00


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