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Ciccarese P, Ocana M, Castro LJG, Das S, Clark, T. An Open Annotation Ontology for Science on Web 3.0. J Biomed Semantics 2011, 2(Suppl 2):S4 (17 May 2011)

Please read this carefully: Specification is undergoing changes.

The Annotation Ontology specification is currently used as input for the activities of the W3C Open Annotation Community Group that works towards a common, RDF-based, specification for annotating digital resources. The Group effort starts by working towards a reconciliation of two proposals that have emerged over the past two years: the Annotation Ontology and the Open Annotation Model. Initially, editors of these proposals will closely collaborate to devise a common draft specification that addresses requirements and use cases that were identified in the course of their respective efforts. The goal is to make this draft available for public feedback and experimentation in the second quarter of 2012. The final deliverable of the Open Annotation Community Group will be a specification, published under an appropriate open license, that is informed by the existing proposals, the common draft specification, and the community feedback.

AO: Annotation Ontology

The Annotation Ontology is a vocabulary for performing several types of annotation - comment, entities annotation (or semantic tags), textual annotation (classic tags), notes, examples, erratum... - on any kind of electronic document (text, images, audio, tables...) and document parts. AO is not providing any domain ontology but it is fostering the reuse of the existing ones for not breaking the principle of scalability of the Semantic Web.


Paolo Ciccarese (Mindinformatics, Mass General Hospital, Harvard Medical School)

Contact: paolo -dot- ciccarese -at- gmail -dot- com


Tim Clark (Mindinformatics, Mass General Hospital, Harvard Medical School), Sudeshna Das (Mindinformatics, Mass General Hospital, Harvard Medical School), Marco Ocana (Balboa Systems), Alexander García Castro (Computational Linguistics Department, University of Bremen), Leyla Jael García Castro (E-Business & Web Science Research Group, Universität der Bundeswehr), Phil Desenne (Interactive Design and Development, Harvard ATG), Stian Soiland-Reyes (University of Manchester, UK)

Special Thanks to:

Eric Prud'hommeaux (W3C), Jonathan Rees (Science Commons)

Documentation: or

Discussion Group

Annotation Ontology Google Group will be active soon for discussions on use cases.


Utopia screencast, January 2011 Showing how Utopia can consume Annotation Ontology content.

SWAN Annotation Framework Screencast, December 2011 Producing Annotation Ontology content via the SWAN Annotation Framework


The Swan Annotation Tool and Annotation Ontology (NIF Webinar) by Paolo Ciccarese

Bio-Ontologies 2010, July 9th, 2010 by Paolo Ciccarese

W3C HCLS-SiG: Meeting Rhetorical Document Structure Group, May 10th, 2010 by Paolo Ciccarese


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