ICBO_2018_19: Current Development in the Evidence and Conclusion Ontology (ECO)

TitleICBO_2018_19: Current Development in the Evidence and Conclusion Ontology (ECO)
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsTauber, R, Munro, JB, Nadendla, S, Chunara, B, Chibucos, MC, Giglio, M
Conference NameInternational Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO 2018)
Date Published08/06/2018
PublisherInternational Conference on Biological Ontology
Keywordsbiocuration, evidence, gene annotation, ontology development, ontology mapping

The Evidence & Conclusion Ontology (ECO) has been developed to provide standardized descriptions for types of evidence within the biological domain. Best practices in biocuration require that when a biological assertion is made (e.g. linking a Gene Ontology term for a molecular function to a protein), the type of evidence supporting it is captured. In recent development efforts, we have been working with other ontology groups to ensure that ECO classes exist for the types of curation they support. These include the Ontology for Microbial Phenotypes and the Gene Ontology. In addition, we continue to support user-level class requests through our GitHub issue tracker. To facilitate the addition and maintenance of new classes, we utilize ROBOT (a command line tool for working with Open Biomedical Ontologies) as part of our standard workflow. ROBOT templates allow us to define classes in a spreadsheet and convert them to Web Ontology Language (OWL) axioms, which can then be merged into ECO. ROBOT is also part of our automated release process. Additionally, we are engaged in ongoing work to map ECO classes to Ontology for Biomedical Investigation classes using logical definitions. ECO is currently in use by dozens of groups engaged in biological curation and the number of ECO users continues to grow. The ontology, in OWL and Open Biomedical Ontology (OBO) formats, and associated resources can be accessed through our GitHub site (https://github.com/evidenceontology/evidenceontology) as well as the ECO web page (http://evidenceontology.org/).