Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (26)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

Year of Publication
more »
1.  The Future of Research Communication 
Dagstuhl reports  2011;1(8):29-52.
This report documents the program and the outcomes of Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop 11331 “The Future of Research Communication”. The purpose of the workshop was to bring together researchers from these different disciplines, whose core research goal is changing the formats, standards, and means by which we communicate science.
PMCID: PMC4548999  PMID: 26317061
science publishing; online communities; science policy; new forms of publishing; bioinformatics; digital repositories; semantic publishing; citation analysis; data publication; information access and integration; reporting standards
2.  Achieving human and machine accessibility of cited data in scholarly publications 
Reproducibility and reusability of research results is an important concern in scientific communication and science policy. A foundational element of reproducibility and reusability is the open and persistently available presentation of research data. However, many common approaches for primary data publication in use today do not achieve sufficient long-term robustness, openness, accessibility or uniformity. Nor do they permit comprehensive exploitation by modern Web technologies. This has led to several authoritative studies recommending uniform direct citation of data archived in persistent repositories. Data are to be considered as first-class scholarly objects, and treated similarly in many ways to cited and archived scientific and scholarly literature. Here we briefly review the most current and widely agreed set of principle-based recommendations for scholarly data citation, the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles (JDDCP). We then present a framework for operationalizing the JDDCP; and a set of initial recommendations on identifier schemes, identifier resolution behavior, required metadata elements, and best practices for realizing programmatic machine actionability of cited data. The main target audience for the common implementation guidelines in this article consists of publishers, scholarly organizations, and persistent data repositories, including technical staff members in these organizations. But ordinary researchers can also benefit from these recommendations. The guidance provided here is intended to help achieve widespread, uniform human and machine accessibility of deposited data, in support of significantly improved verification, validation, reproducibility and re-use of scholarly/scientific data.
PMCID: PMC4498574  PMID: 26167542
Human–Computer Interaction; Data Science; Digital Libraries; World Wide Web and Web Science; Data citation; Machine accessibility; Data archiving; Data accessibility
3.  Structure-Based Evolution of Subtype-Selective Neurotensin Receptor Ligands 
ChemistryOpen  2014;3(5):206-218.
Subtype-selective agonists of the neurotensin receptor NTS2 represent a promising option for the treatment of neuropathic pain, as NTS2 is involved in the mediation of μ-opioid-independent anti-nociceptive effects. Based on the crystal structure of the subtype NTS1 and previous structure–activity relationships (SARs) indicating a potential role for the sub-pocket around Tyr11 of NT(8–13) in subtype-specific ligand recognition, we have developed new NTS2-selective ligands. Starting from NT(8–13), we replaced the tyrosine unit by β2-amino acids (type 1), by heterocyclic tyrosine bioisosteres (type 2) and peptoid analogues (type 3). We were able to evolve an asymmetric synthesis of a 5-substituted azaindolylalanine and its application as a bioisostere of tyrosine capable of enhancing NTS2 selectivity. The S-configured test compound 2 a, [(S)-3-(pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyridine-5-yl)-propionyl11]NT(8–13), exhibits substantial NTS2 affinity (4.8 nm) and has a nearly 30-fold NTS2 selectivity over NTS1. The (R)-epimer 2 b showed lower NTS2 affinity but more than 600-fold selectivity over NTS1.
PMCID: PMC4234217  PMID: 25478316
neurotensin; NTS2; subtype selectivity; tyrosine analogues; β2-amino acids
4.  Micropublications: a semantic model for claims, evidence, arguments and annotations in biomedical communications 
Scientific publications are documentary representations of defeasible arguments, supported by data and repeatable methods. They are the essential mediating artifacts in the ecosystem of scientific communications. The institutional “goal” of science is publishing results. The linear document publication format, dating from 1665, has survived transition to the Web.
Intractable publication volumes; the difficulty of verifying evidence; and observed problems in evidence and citation chains suggest a need for a web-friendly and machine-tractable model of scientific publications. This model should support: digital summarization, evidence examination, challenge, verification and remix, and incremental adoption. Such a model must be capable of expressing a broad spectrum of representational complexity, ranging from minimal to maximal forms.
The micropublications semantic model of scientific argument and evidence provides these features. Micropublications support natural language statements; data; methods and materials specifications; discussion and commentary; challenge and disagreement; as well as allowing many kinds of statement formalization.
The minimal form of a micropublication is a statement with its attribution. The maximal form is a statement with its complete supporting argument, consisting of all relevant evidence, interpretations, discussion and challenges brought forward in support of or opposition to it. Micropublications may be formalized and serialized in multiple ways, including in RDF. They may be added to publications as stand-off metadata.
An OWL 2 vocabulary for micropublications is available at A discussion of this vocabulary along with RDF examples from the case studies, appears as OWL Vocabulary and RDF Examples in Additional file 1.
Micropublications, because they model evidence and allow qualified, nuanced assertions, can play essential roles in the scientific communications ecosystem in places where simpler, formalized and purely statement-based models, such as the nanopublications model, will not be sufficient. At the same time they will add significant value to, and are intentionally compatible with, statement-based formalizations.
We suggest that micropublications, generated by useful software tools supporting such activities as writing, editing, reviewing, and discussion, will be of great value in improving the quality and tractability of biomedical communications.
PMCID: PMC4530550  PMID: 26261718
Argumentation; Annotation; Data citation; Digital abstract; Scientific discourse; Scientific evidence; Methods citation; Research reproducibility; Nanopublications
5.  Semantic Web repositories for genomics data using the eXframe platform 
Journal of Biomedical Semantics  2014;5(Suppl 1):S3.
With the advent of inexpensive assay technologies, there has been an unprecedented growth in genomics data as well as the number of databases in which it is stored. In these databases, sample annotation using ontologies and controlled vocabularies is becoming more common. However, the annotation is rarely available as Linked Data, in a machine-readable format, or for standardized queries using SPARQL. This makes large-scale reuse, or integration with other knowledge bases very difficult.
To address this challenge, we have developed the second generation of our eXframe platform, a reusable framework for creating online repositories of genomics experiments. This second generation model now publishes Semantic Web data. To accomplish this, we created an experiment model that covers provenance, citations, external links, assays, biomaterials used in the experiment, and the data collected during the process. The elements of our model are mapped to classes and properties from various established biomedical ontologies. Resource Description Framework (RDF) data is automatically produced using these mappings and indexed in an RDF store with a built-in Sparql Protocol and RDF Query Language (SPARQL) endpoint.
Using the open-source eXframe software, institutions and laboratories can create Semantic Web repositories of their experiments, integrate it with heterogeneous resources and make it interoperable with the vast Semantic Web of biomedical knowledge.
PMCID: PMC4108874  PMID: 25093072
6.  Simulating “soft” electronics 
Journal of Cheminformatics  2014;6(Suppl 1):O19.
PMCID: PMC3980059  PMID: 24765117
7.  Simulating “soft” electronics 
Journal of Cheminformatics  2014;6(Suppl 1):O19.
PMCID: PMC3980059  PMID: 24765117
8.  Pain Research Forum: application of scientific social media frameworks in neuroscience 
Background: Social media has the potential to accelerate the pace of biomedical research through online collaboration, discussions, and faster sharing of information. Focused web-based scientific social collaboratories such as the Alzheimer Research Forum have been successful in engaging scientists in open discussions of the latest research and identifying gaps in knowledge. However, until recently, tools to rapidly create such communities and provide high-bandwidth information exchange between collaboratories in related fields did not exist.
Methods: We have addressed this need by constructing a reusable framework to build online biomedical communities, based on Drupal, an open-source content management system. The framework incorporates elements of Semantic Web technology combined with social media. Here we present, as an exemplar of a web community built on our framework, the Pain Research Forum (PRF) ( PRF is a community of chronic pain researchers, established with the goal of fostering collaboration and communication among pain researchers.
Results: Launched in 2011, PRF has over 1300 registered members with permission to submit content. It currently hosts over 150 topical news articles on research; more than 30 active or archived forum discussions and journal club features; a webinar series; an editor-curated weekly updated listing of relevant papers; and several other resources for the pain research community. All content is licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons license; the software is freely available. The framework was reused to develop other sites, notably the Multiple Sclerosis Discovery Forum ( and StemBook (
Discussion: Web-based collaboratories are a crucial integrative tool supporting rapid information transmission and translation in several important research areas. In this article, we discuss the success factors, lessons learned, and ongoing challenges in using PRF as a driving force to develop tools for online collaboration in neuroscience. We also indicate ways these tools can be applied to other areas and uses.
PMCID: PMC3949323  PMID: 24653693
social media; neuropathic pain; content management systems; Drupal
9.  PAV ontology: provenance, authoring and versioning 
Provenance is a critical ingredient for establishing trust of published scientific content. This is true whether we are considering a data set, a computational workflow, a peer-reviewed publication or a simple scientific claim with supportive evidence. Existing vocabularies such as Dublin Core Terms (DC Terms) and the W3C Provenance Ontology (PROV-O) are domain-independent and general-purpose and they allow and encourage for extensions to cover more specific needs. In particular, to track authoring and versioning information of web resources, PROV-O provides a basic methodology but not any specific classes and properties for identifying or distinguishing between the various roles assumed by agents manipulating digital artifacts, such as author, contributor and curator.
We present the Provenance, Authoring and Versioning ontology (PAV, namespace a lightweight ontology for capturing “just enough” descriptions essential for tracking the provenance, authoring and versioning of web resources. We argue that such descriptions are essential for digital scientific content. PAV distinguishes between contributors, authors and curators of content and creators of representations in addition to the provenance of originating resources that have been accessed, transformed and consumed. We explore five projects (and communities) that have adopted PAV illustrating their usage through concrete examples. Moreover, we present mappings that show how PAV extends the W3C PROV-O ontology to support broader interoperability.
The initial design of the PAV ontology was driven by requirements from the AlzSWAN project with further requirements incorporated later from other projects detailed in this paper. The authors strived to keep PAV lightweight and compact by including only those terms that have demonstrated to be pragmatically useful in existing applications, and by recommending terms from existing ontologies when plausible.
We analyze and compare PAV with related approaches, namely Provenance Vocabulary (PRV), DC Terms and BIBFRAME. We identify similarities and analyze differences between those vocabularies and PAV, outlining strengths and weaknesses of our proposed model. We specify SKOS mappings that align PAV with DC Terms. We conclude the paper with general remarks on the applicability of PAV.
PMCID: PMC4177195  PMID: 24267948
Provenance; Authoring; Versioning; Annotation; Semantic web; Attribution
10.  Toward interoperable bioscience data 
Nature genetics  2012;44(2):121-126.
To make full use of research data, the bioscience community needs to adopt technologies and reward mechanisms that support interoperability and promote the growth of an open ‘data commoning’ culture. Here we describe the prerequisites for data commoning and present an established and growing ecosystem of solutions using the shared ‘Investigation-Study-Assay’ framework to support that vision.
PMCID: PMC3428019  PMID: 22281772
11.  Open semantic annotation of scientific publications using DOMEO 
Journal of Biomedical Semantics  2012;3(Suppl 1):S1.
Our group has developed a useful shared software framework for performing, versioning, sharing and viewing Web annotations of a number of kinds, using an open representation model.
The Domeo Annotation Tool was developed in tandem with this open model, the Annotation Ontology (AO). Development of both the Annotation Framework and the open model was driven by requirements of several different types of alpha users, including bench scientists and biomedical curators from university research labs, online scientific communities, publishing and pharmaceutical companies.
Several use cases were incrementally implemented by the toolkit. These use cases in biomedical communications include personal note-taking, group document annotation, semantic tagging, claim-evidence-context extraction, reagent tagging, and curation of textmining results from entity extraction algorithms.
We report on the Domeo user interface here. Domeo has been deployed in beta release as part of the NIH Neuroscience Information Framework (NIF, and is scheduled for production deployment in the NIF’s next full release.
Future papers will describe other aspects of this work in detail, including Annotation Framework Services and components for integrating with external textmining services, such as the NCBO Annotator web service, and with other textmining applications using the Apache UIMA framework.
PMCID: PMC3337259  PMID: 22541592
12.  eXframe: reusable framework for storage, analysis and visualization of genomics experiments 
BMC Bioinformatics  2011;12:452.
Genome-wide experiments are routinely conducted to measure gene expression, DNA-protein interactions and epigenetic status. Structured metadata for these experiments is imperative for a complete understanding of experimental conditions, to enable consistent data processing and to allow retrieval, comparison, and integration of experimental results. Even though several repositories have been developed for genomics data, only a few provide annotation of samples and assays using controlled vocabularies. Moreover, many of them are tailored for a single type of technology or measurement and do not support the integration of multiple data types.
We have developed eXframe - a reusable web-based framework for genomics experiments that provides 1) the ability to publish structured data compliant with accepted standards 2) support for multiple data types including microarrays and next generation sequencing 3) query, analysis and visualization integration tools (enabled by consistent processing of the raw data and annotation of samples) and is available as open-source software. We present two case studies where this software is currently being used to build repositories of genomics experiments - one contains data from hematopoietic stem cells and another from Parkinson's disease patients.
The web-based framework eXframe offers structured annotation of experiments as well as uniform processing and storage of molecular data from microarray and next generation sequencing platforms. The framework allows users to query and integrate information across species, technologies, measurement types and experimental conditions. Our framework is reusable and freely modifiable - other groups or institutions can deploy their own custom web-based repositories based on this software. It is interoperable with the most important data formats in this domain. We hope that other groups will not only use eXframe, but also contribute their own useful modifications.
PMCID: PMC3235155  PMID: 22103807
13.  The Translational Medicine Ontology and Knowledge Base: driving personalized medicine by bridging the gap between bench and bedside 
Journal of Biomedical Semantics  2011;2(Suppl 2):S1.
Translational medicine requires the integration of knowledge using heterogeneous data from health care to the life sciences. Here, we describe a collaborative effort to produce a prototype Translational Medicine Knowledge Base (TMKB) capable of answering questions relating to clinical practice and pharmaceutical drug discovery.
We developed the Translational Medicine Ontology (TMO) as a unifying ontology to integrate chemical, genomic and proteomic data with disease, treatment, and electronic health records. We demonstrate the use of Semantic Web technologies in the integration of patient and biomedical data, and reveal how such a knowledge base can aid physicians in providing tailored patient care and facilitate the recruitment of patients into active clinical trials. Thus, patients, physicians and researchers may explore the knowledge base to better understand therapeutic options, efficacy, and mechanisms of action.
This work takes an important step in using Semantic Web technologies to facilitate integration of relevant, distributed, external sources and progress towards a computational platform to support personalized medicine.
TMO can be downloaded from and TMKB can be accessed at
PMCID: PMC3102889  PMID: 21624155
14.  An open annotation ontology for science on web 3.0 
Journal of Biomedical Semantics  2011;2(Suppl 2):S4.
There is currently a gap between the rich and expressive collection of published biomedical ontologies, and the natural language expression of biomedical papers consumed on a daily basis by scientific researchers. The purpose of this paper is to provide an open, shareable structure for dynamic integration of biomedical domain ontologies with the scientific document, in the form of an Annotation Ontology (AO), thus closing this gap and enabling application of formal biomedical ontologies directly to the literature as it emerges.
Initial requirements for AO were elicited by analysis of integration needs between biomedical web communities, and of needs for representing and integrating results of biomedical text mining. Analysis of strengths and weaknesses of previous efforts in this area was also performed. A series of increasingly refined annotation tools were then developed along with a metadata model in OWL, and deployed for feedback and additional requirements the ontology to users at a major pharmaceutical company and a major academic center. Further requirements and critiques of the model were also elicited through discussions with many colleagues and incorporated into the work.
This paper presents Annotation Ontology (AO), an open ontology in OWL-DL for annotating scientific documents on the web. AO supports both human and algorithmic content annotation. It enables “stand-off” or independent metadata anchored to specific positions in a web document by any one of several methods. In AO, the document may be annotated but is not required to be under update control of the annotator. AO contains a provenance model to support versioning, and a set model for specifying groups and containers of annotation. AO is freely available under open source license at, and extensive documentation including screencasts is available on AO’s Google Code page: .
The Annotation Ontology meets critical requirements for an open, freely shareable model in OWL, of annotation metadata created against scientific documents on the Web. We believe AO can become a very useful common model for annotation metadata on Web documents, and will enable biomedical domain ontologies to be used quite widely to annotate the scientific literature. Potential collaborators and those with new relevant use cases are invited to contact the authors.
PMCID: PMC3102893  PMID: 21624159
15.  AlzPharm: integration of neurodegeneration data using RDF 
BMC Bioinformatics  2007;8(Suppl 3):S4.
Neuroscientists often need to access a wide range of data sets distributed over the Internet. These data sets, however, are typically neither integrated nor interoperable, resulting in a barrier to answering complex neuroscience research questions. Domain ontologies can enable the querying heterogeneous data sets, but they are not sufficient for neuroscience since the data of interest commonly span multiple research domains. To this end, e-Neuroscience seeks to provide an integrated platform for neuroscientists to discover new knowledge through seamless integration of the very diverse types of neuroscience data. Here we present a Semantic Web approach to building this e-Neuroscience framework by using the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and its vocabulary description language, RDF Schema (RDFS), as a standard data model to facilitate both representation and integration of the data.
We have constructed a pilot ontology for BrainPharm (a subset of SenseLab) using RDFS and then converted a subset of the BrainPharm data into RDF according to the ontological structure. We have also integrated the converted BrainPharm data with existing RDF hypothesis and publication data from a pilot version of SWAN (Semantic Web Applications in Neuromedicine). Our implementation uses the RDF Data Model in Oracle Database 10g release 2 for data integration, query, and inference, while our Web interface allows users to query the data and retrieve the results in a convenient fashion.
Accessing and integrating biomedical data which cuts across multiple disciplines will be increasingly indispensable and beneficial to neuroscience researchers. The Semantic Web approach we undertook has demonstrated a promising way to semantically integrate data sets created independently. It also shows how advanced queries and inferences can be performed over the integrated data, which are hard to achieve using traditional data integration approaches. Our pilot results suggest that our Semantic Web approach is suitable for realizing e-Neuroscience and generic enough to be applied in other biomedical fields.
PMCID: PMC1892101  PMID: 17493287
16.  Advancing translational research with the Semantic Web 
BMC Bioinformatics  2007;8(Suppl 3):S2.
A fundamental goal of the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) "Roadmap" is to strengthen Translational Research, defined as the movement of discoveries in basic research to application at the clinical level. A significant barrier to translational research is the lack of uniformly structured data across related biomedical domains. The Semantic Web is an extension of the current Web that enables navigation and meaningful use of digital resources by automatic processes. It is based on common formats that support aggregation and integration of data drawn from diverse sources. A variety of technologies have been built on this foundation that, together, support identifying, representing, and reasoning across a wide range of biomedical data. The Semantic Web Health Care and Life Sciences Interest Group (HCLSIG), set up within the framework of the World Wide Web Consortium, was launched to explore the application of these technologies in a variety of areas. Subgroups focus on making biomedical data available in RDF, working with biomedical ontologies, prototyping clinical decision support systems, working on drug safety and efficacy communication, and supporting disease researchers navigating and annotating the large amount of potentially relevant literature.
We present a scenario that shows the value of the information environment the Semantic Web can support for aiding neuroscience researchers. We then report on several projects by members of the HCLSIG, in the process illustrating the range of Semantic Web technologies that have applications in areas of biomedicine.
Semantic Web technologies present both promise and challenges. Current tools and standards are already adequate to implement components of the bench-to-bedside vision. On the other hand, these technologies are young. Gaps in standards and implementations still exist and adoption is limited by typical problems with early technology, such as the need for a critical mass of practitioners and installed base, and growing pains as the technology is scaled up. Still, the potential of interoperable knowledge sources for biomedicine, at the scale of the World Wide Web, merits continued work.
PMCID: PMC1892099  PMID: 17493285
20.  Consultant Contract 
British Medical Journal  1975;1(5960):738.
PMCID: PMC1672722

Results 1-25 (26)