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Re: Evidence of Significance of Semantic Web for Life Sciences

From: Richard Boyce <rdb20@pitt.edu>
Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2011 16:48:45 -0500
Message-ID: <4EF3A5BD.3010004@pitt.edu>
To: <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
I realized that the reference to NIH Reporter did not take folks to the 
actual page that reports NIH funded studies using the SW tools ant tech. 
Attached is a CSV file listing active projects (15) and another with 
pubs from these projects. This I think is one of the most concrete 
measures of impact -- most of these projects are using SW tools, not 
advancing them.

btw, effects on biomedical outcomes (saving lives) due to a technology 
is next to impossible to measure in most cases (excluded medical 
devices). For example,  in biomed informatics, we are still debating the 
utility and effectiveness of clinical decision support systems. For the 
most part, they do improve practice (i.e., fewer errors) but relatively 
few studies have found benefits in terms of patient outcomes.


On 12/22/2011 01:02 PM, Andrea Splendiani (RRes-Roth) wrote:
> Hi,
> I think to make a case for use of Semantic Web technologies one has to distinguish solution providers and companies which actually make use of these technologies, better if in mission critical operations.
> So sponsors won't bring that far. Except that, of course, being able to cite that Oracle is player adds some substance to the technology offer.
> Things like Elsevier using RDF/OWL in their production environment are very convincing.
> But I think there may be many case that are not so known.
> Probably we need to reference success stories, which for the time being may not be always Life Sciences related.
> best,
> Andrea
> Il giorno 22/dic/2011, alle ore 16.15, Michael Miller ha scritto:
>> hi all,
>> indeed an interesting question, some great replies.  most of the companies
>> i've seen making use of semantic technologies aren't necessarily focused
>> on life sciences, they are more generally focused on business
>> intelligence.  but their technologies can also provide benefits to life
>> sciences as they mature.
>>> Does anybody knows if such a list exists ?
>> take a look at SEMTECH sponsors[1]!  oracle and topquadrant i know have
>> built strong support and applications.  elsevier and deri were sponsors
>> also.
>> cheers,
>> michael
>> Michael Miller
>> Software Engineer
>> Institute for Systems Biology
>> [1]: http://semtech2011.semanticweb.com/
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Andrea Splendiani (RRes-Roth)
>>> [mailto:andrea.splendiani@rothamsted.ac.uk]
>>> Sent: Thursday, December 22, 2011 7:41 AM
>>> To: Waard, Anita de A (ELS-NYC)
>>> Cc: Oliver Ruebenacker; public-semweb-lifesci
>>> Subject: Re: Evidence of Significance of Semantic Web for Life Sciences
>>> Hi,
>>> It would be interesting to setup a list of companies which makes a
>>> mission-critical use of semantic-web technologies.
>>> This could start to be some good evidence on the impact of these
>>> technologies.
>>> Does anybody knows if such a list exists ?
>>> STI people have a list of Semantic Web companies, but I was thinking
>>> about something smaller and more focused.
>>> best,
>>> Andrea
>>> Il giorno 22/dic/2011, alle ore 15.25, Waard, Anita de A (ELS-NYC) ha
>>> scritto:
>>>> Oliver,
>>>> Elsevier uses semantic technologies (i.e. OWL ontologies, a Linked
>>> Data Repository, metadata in RDF) throughout all of our content
>>> management, search and annotation systems. If OWL/RDF were to evaporate
>>> tomorrow, our products (including the Cell and other cell biology
>>> publications) wouldn't work - it's as simple as that. Is that enough
>>> evidence? Let me know if you need something more formal.
>>>> Best,
>>>> - Anita.
>>>> Anita de Waard
>>>> Disruptive Technologies Director, Elsevier Labs
>>>> http://elsatglabs.com/labs/anita/
>>>> a.dewaard@elsevier.com
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Andrea Splendiani (RRes-Roth)
>>> [mailto:andrea.splendiani@rothamsted.ac.uk]
>>>> Sent: Thu 12/22/2011 10:09
>>>> To: Oliver Ruebenacker
>>>> Cc: public-semweb-lifesci
>>>> Subject: Re: Evidence of Significance of Semantic Web for Life
>>> Sciences
>>>> Hi Oliver,
>>>> I think it's hard to find this form of "breakthrough evidence" and
>>> this may even be counterproductive to convince people.
>>>> If you present a high-level, breakthrough result (say, we save
>>> lives), than you leave two open questions:
>>>> - how much of this is dependent on the computational support ?
>>>> - ok, they used semantic web technologies, could we use something
>>> else ?
>>>> Another way to go would be to measure results over resources
>>> (benefits is economic) or adoption (benefit is potential for economies
>>> of scale).
>>>> There is a wide range of sources to cite about this out of the
>>> biomedical world, from companies to governments.
>>>> Look for "Biomedical Semantics in the Semantic Web" in JBS, we write
>>> something about adoption, you may find some link/inspiration there.
>>>> ciao,
>>>> Andrea
>>>> Il giorno 21/dic/2011, alle ore 16.39, Oliver Ruebenacker ha scritto:
>>>>>    Hello,
>>>>> I am looking for evidence I can quote to convince non-experts of the
>>>>> significance of applying Semantic Web to biomedical research,
>>>>> especially computational cell biology.
>>>>> I need a recorded public statement from a source recognizable as
>>>>> authoritative to a non-expert: e.g. could be from a relevant
>>>>> government agency, a well-known research institution (including
>>> major
>>>>> grad schools and companies), a well-known (i.e. well-known outside
>>> the
>>>>> field) expert, some one where a brief look at the biography
>>>>> immediately suggests he or she is an authority, some one quoted in
>>>>> major media, etc.
>>>>> Significance could mean abstract things like advancing science and
>>>>> health care, but even better would be tangible things like: saves
>>>>> lives, saves money, cures cancer/malaria/AIDS, creates jobs, etc.
>>>>> Thanks a lot!
>>>>>    Take care
>>>>>    Oliver
>>>>> --
>>>>> Oliver Ruebenacker, Computational Cell Biologist
>>>>> Virtual Cell (http://vcell.org)
>>>>> SBPAX: Turning Bio Knowledge into Math Models (http://www.sbpax.org)
>>>>> http://www.oliver.curiousworld.org
>>>> Elsevier B.V. Registered Office: Radarweg 29, 1043 NX Amsterdam, The
>>> Netherlands, Registration No. 33156677 (The Netherlands)

Richard Boyce, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Scholar, Comparative Effectiveness Research Program
University of Pittsburgh

Received on Thursday, 22 December 2011 21:49:23 UTC

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