Architecture and usability of OntoKeeper, an ontology evaluation tool

BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2019 Aug 8;19(Suppl 4):152. doi: 10.1186/s12911-019-0859-z.


Background: The existing community-wide bodies of biomedical ontologies are known to contain quality and content problems. Past research has revealed various errors related to their semantics and logical structure. Automated tools may help to ease the ontology construction, maintenance, assessment and quality assurance processes. However, there are relatively few tools that exist that can provide this support to knowledge engineers.

Method: We introduce OntoKeeper as a web-based tool that can automate quality scoring for ontology developers. We enlisted 5 experienced ontologists to test the tool and then administered the System Usability Scale to measure their assessment.

Results: In this paper, we present usability results from 5 ontologists revealing high system usability of OntoKeeper, and use-cases that demonstrate its capabilities in previous published biomedical ontology research.

Conclusion: To the best of our knowledge, OntoKeeper is the first of a few ontology evaluation tools that can help provide ontology evaluation functionality for knowledge engineers with good usability.

Keywords: Biomedical ontologies; Knowledge engineering; Knowledge management; Ontology auditing; Quality evaluation; Semantic web; Semiotics; Usability analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Ontologies*
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Semantics
  • Software*