Special Call for Papers on the Social, Political, Cultural and Economic Dimensions of Ontology Engineering

Special Call for Papers on the Social, Political, Cultural and Economic Dimensions of Ontology Engineering

Developing an ontology is similar to arranging a fence. In both cases human beings demarcate areas, be it in geographic or conceptual space, that they want to separate for some purpose. While the social, political, cultural, and economic implications of introducing such demarcations in the physical and social world, e.g., land ownership, have been studied for decades, ontologies are largely approached from a purely engineering perspective. There is reason to believe that this may hinder the success and adaptation of ontologies in science and society.

For instance, it is well known that categorization schemata such as land use classes are often introduced and changed for political reasons, not because of a new scientific understanding of land use. To give an example from the knowledge engineering perspective, introducing domain and range restrictions for DL roles is attractive from a reasoning perspective but may severely hinder the use of such ontologies.

Some examples for questions which could be addressed in papers for this call are the following. What governance models are more likely to increase the approval of a specific ontology by a given domain and beyond? How to mediate between ontology engineers that may favor complex ontologies to showcase the ability of their representation languages and domain experts what may get lost in a contest of scientific theories, thus losing focus on the overall goal of semantic annotation. Do general-purpose ontologies used for key datasets such as DBpedia have to take cultural differences into account?

This special call invites papers from all Semantic Web journal categories, including research papers, application reports, ontology descriptions, surveys, tool/system descriptions, and dataset descriptions.

We are especially interested in interdisciplinary work, progress on collaborative ontology engineering, novel ontology engineering methodologies, studies on the origins of semantic heterogeneity, experience reports and best practice from ontology engineering efforts, work on semantic negotiation, complex alignments of multi-perspective ontologies, applications of ontologies and semantics in government agencies and non-governmental organization, as well as many other related topics.

Paper submission deadline: June 17, 2013
Notification: August, 2013

If you have questions, please contact us via contact @ semantic-web-journal.net .