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A Task Group on Materials Ontologies

A Task Group on Materials Ontologies

April 21, 2019

Research Data Alliance’s (RDA) 13th Plenary Meeting in Philadelphia on the 4th of April 2019 witnessed the launch of a new international Task Group on Materials Ontologies. The Task Group is part of the remit of the RDA/CODATA Interest Group on Materials Data.

RDA Plenaries are held twice a year, at various locations across the globe. The 13th Plenary Meeting had “With Data Comes Responsibility,” as its theme. The plenary explored how the international, inter- and trans-disciplinary nature of RDA has helped lay a foundation for global partnerships and addressing responsibility throughout the data-lifecycle and across all domains.

RDA aims to accelerate and facilitate research data sharing and exchange. Along with the Committee on Data of the International Council for Science (CODATA), RDA works to strengthen international science by promoting improved scientific and technical data management and use. As a logical corollary of the complementary missions, RDA/CODATA formed the Task Group on Materials Ontologies.

There is an impressive and growing body of work particularly concerning database integration on materials ontologies. It has led to many new applications. For instance, the ontology metallic materials derived from the semantic knowledge base YAGO is one. Similarly, a catalyst materials ontology including the integration of a database of computational data and one consisting of experimental data are other examples.

Furthermore, the European Materials Modelling Council has been spearheading the development of the European Materials & Modelling Ontology—EMMO. In addition, there is a rich body of work related to chemicals and nanoparticles and nanomaterials safety, as well as analytical chemistry/characterization.

The formation of the Task Group is recognition of the growing importance of ontologies and the rich work being done in the Materials Science domain. It was formed for delivering on the objectives and opportunities connected with digitalization and Materials 4.0. In particular, it was formed to facilitate interoperability, information transparency, decision support based on data plus models and artificial intelligence.

Materials 4.0 are the big data existing on synthesis, processing, modeling, characterization, and properties of a diverse range of materials. It exists as a function of a micro/nanostructure, physical conditions of pressure and temperature. In addition to the phase transitions and performance during the fabrication of products and its life cycle, and recycling or handling of a product upon its lifetime.

The scope of the Task Group includes any type of materials/substance in any state and at any scale. In addition, the scope includes any ontology about materials or directly linked to materials, e.g. characterization, modeling, processing, safety, etc. Furthermore, the initial topics and objectives include:

  • Creating awareness of RDA recommendations and reports on ontologies
  • Facilitating the networking of groups expressing interest in materials ontologies and mapping the field
  • Making materials ontologies FAIR
  • Collecting use cases and requirements
  • Developing recommendations on governance of materials ontologies
  • Advancing discussions on upper-level ontologies in the context of materials science requirements
  • Ensuring interoperability of materials ontologies and interfacing with ontology developments in adjacent fields such a manufacturing
  • Aligning ontologies

Communication about the Task Group will be channeled via the RDA/CODATA IG on Materials Data.

Click here to read the announcement.

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