Semantic annotation of mutable data.

Morris, R.A., Dou, L., Hanken, J., Kelly, M., Lowery, D.B., Ludaescher, B., Macklin, J.A., and Morris, P.J. (2013). "Semantic annotation of mutable data.", PLoS ONE, 8(11: Article number e76093). doi : 10.1371/journal.pone.0076093  Access to full text

Abstract

Electronic annotation of scientific data is very similar to annotation of documents. Both types of annotation amplify the original object, add related knowledge to it, and dispute or support assertions in it. In each case, annotation is a framework for discourse about the original object, and, in each case, an annotation needs to clearly identify its scope and its own terminology. However, electronic annotation of data differs from annotation of documents: the content of the annotations, including expectations and supporting evidence, is more often shared among members of networks. Any consequent actions taken by the holders of the annotated data could be shared as well. But even those current annotation systems that admit data as their subject often make it difficult or impossible to annotate at fine-enough granularity to use the results in this way for data quality control. We address these kinds of issues by offering simple extensions to an existing annotation ontology and describe how the results support an interest-based distribution of annotations. We are using the result to design and deploy a platform that supports annotation services overlaid on networks of distributed data, with particular application to data quality control. Our initial instance supports a set of natural science collection metadata services. An important application is the support for data quality control and provision of missing data. A previous proof of concept demonstrated such use based on data annotations modeled with XML-Schema.

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