EScience and the Role of Semantic Web-Content-Management-Systems in the Life Sciences

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Within the last decades, research in the life sciences has changed considerably. Today, many researchers use computers for data exploration, compile new and often very large datasets from openly available data and analyze them under new premises. This eScience approach requires data to be openly available through the Internet and utilizes applications of the Semantic Web. Key to the success of eScience is open accessibility and availability of data through corresponding Web-Content-Management-Systems that apply semantic technologies, such as ontologies, for increasing the semantic transparency and enabling computer-parsability of their data. This not only requires the development of eScience-compliant data and metadata standards, but the respective Semantic Web-Content-Management-Systems (SeWCMS) with adequate graphical user interfaces. Currently, we are involved in two projects that address these requirements.

1) Morph·D·Base: eScience-Compliant Standards for Morphology

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Funded by DFG

The eScience-Compliant Standards for Morphology project is part of the ongoing projects of the on-line morphological data repository Morph·D·Base. It is presently primarily maintained on funds of the LIS call Standards for Indexing and/or Digitisation of Object Classes in Scientific Collections of the DFG through the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (programming and management), the Foundation Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig (ZFMK) (programming, management and use case), the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (use case), the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (MfN) (use case), and the Universität Rostock (use case). The ZFMK is adding a guarantee for long-term on-line availability should dedicated project funds run out. In addition, several projects and individuals using the on-line morphological data repository Morph·D·Base provide a significant contribution to improving the overall functionality of all new features and application-modules developed for Morph·D·Base during this project, as well as suggested eScience-compliant data and metadata standards applied in Morph·D·Base that result from this project.

See project outline for more details.

2) SOCCOMAS: an application for Semantic Ontology-Controlled Web-Content-Management-Systems

We are developing SOCCOMAS, an application for semantic ontology-controlled Web-Content-Management-Systems (WCMS). SOCCOMAS is a ready-to-use application that is controlled by a set of application ontologies. SOCCOMAS is not restricted to a particular data scheme or knowledge domain and allows the set up of a semantic WCMS that can be individually customized without requiring a specific informatics background or having to learn how to develop ontologies or how to use ontology editors. Customization includes the specification of data views, input forms and workflows. If you have knowledge in CSS, you can even customize the entire look of the graphical user interface of each semantic WCMS instance that is based on SOCCOMAS.

See project outline for more details.

About this Wiki is a technical platform supporting the representation of ongoing work of these two projects. The primary purpose of the platform is to facilitate the ongoing internal communication between the project participants, the representation of intermediate results and preliminary standards as well as accomplished milestones, and the communication of specific contents with external collaborators and the morphological community in general.