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RE: Nature: A call for a public gene Wiki

From: Phillip Lord <Phillip.Lord@newcastle.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 13:39:53 -0000
Message-ID: <6942EE35B530F84EAD432959F5E4DAB501876E8F@largo.campus.ncl.ac.uk>
To: "hclsig-pub" <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>

Matthew Cockerill wrote:
> I agree that the details of gene function probably don't belong on
> Wikipedia.
> 
> However, as these two recent articles
> 
> 
> Are the current ontologies in biology good ontologies?
> Larisa N Soldatova & Ross (Nature Biotechnology)
> htttp://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nbt0905-1095
> 
> Time to Organize the Bioinformatics Resourceome
> Nicola Cannata, Emanuela Merelli, Russ B. Altman*
> PLoS Comp Biol
> http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.0010076
> 
> 
> both discuss, one of the key problems with current biomedical
> ontologies is that they are not well embedded in a coherent set of
> higher level ontologies.
> 
> Biomedical ontologies need simple concepts such as "institution" and
> instances of those concepts.
> e.g.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Medical_School
> 
> Or as another example of a high level concept in need of a URI, the
> JPEG2000 file format
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jpeg2000
> 
> It's at least conceivable that Wikipedia may play an important role
> in providing widely accepted identifiers for such high level  classes
> and instances, since the high level of usage of wikipedia would tend
> to keep those high level concepts  far better maintained and curated
> than they would be in the backwaters of a specifically biomedical
> ontology.
> 


The problem with wikipedia in this context is that it does not 
have any specific policy on data preservation. Links can break, or
refer to other things than they started out. 

The general wiki community notion is a good thing, in general, 
but there are limitations. Wikipedia has succeeded well in getting
to the size that it has, been it has it's limitiations. The here
today, gone tomorrow, nature of the web is certainly one of them.

Phil
Received on Thursday, 9 February 2006 13:40:11 GMT

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