NSC Ontology Task Force
The task force was created to generate a complete picture of the ongoing activities with respect to ontology development and data annotation within the projects of the NSC and other international groups.

Currently there are increasing needs of high quality data to feed into the evolving nanoinformatics workflows and for use in a regulatory and policy context. To achieve this, datasets need to be findable online and machine readable and able to be combined to larger datasets to be reused for the identification of hidden patterns and relationships as demonstrated, among others, by Labouta et al. (2019) during the meta-analysis of 93 peer-reviewed papers. Thus, datasets need to be annotated using established ontologies, along with communication
between the various nanosafety databases/repositories. Currently, there is a number of parallel ongoing activities within the NSC projects for the development of data dictionaries (collections of terms), taxonomies and ontologies, which are focussed in a field-specific context. This potentially results in duplication of work and lack of communication between the various efforts, leading to lack of harmonisation and communication and to huge effort and time being wasted.

Aims of activity:
ā— Generation of an inventory on the ongoing NSC projects and international activities to develop collections of terms, taxonomies and ontologies for dataset annotation and identification of limitations and additional needs.
ā— Identification on the similarities and alignment potential to promote a harmonised response of the nanosafety community and promote data interoperability and reusability, as per the requirements of the Open data initiative of the European Commission.

Even if the Task Force will end after the collection the above information, this should be followed up by the creation of expert groups. These groups will work on term collection in specific fields of nanosafety research like exposure, hazard and physchem characterisation, for grouping of these terms, build hierarchies and relationships to translate these defined terminology into ontologies and for keeping these ontologies harmonised, interoperable and complementary. These groups could be either realised as additional Task Forces or become a wider task of WG F, in collaboration with the rest of the NSC WGs. The long-term goal is to establish a collective of ontology developers, domain experts and users that are committed to collaboration, adherence to shared principles and function as the coordination and standardisation body, i.e. the Open (Nano)Material Ontology Foundry.

This questionnaire is trying to collect basic information from the projects collecting defined term collections, develop taxonomies and ontologies or are in need for additional terms for the annotation of their data. It is sent out to project coordinators, to cover the overall activities, requirements and needs, and to specific ontology and data sharing WP and task leaders.


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This form is collecting personal information (Name, affiliation and email address), which will only be used to organise the follow-up activities described above and invite relevant people to these as starting group and is only accessible to the members of the task force. It will be destroyed after the these goals have been achieved. All answers other than names, affiliations and e-mail addresses will be shared as part of the inventory of NSC ontology activities. Therefore, please consider this when answering especially the free text questions.
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