ICBO_2018_30: An Expertise Ontology for Cooperative Extension

TitleICBO_2018_30: An Expertise Ontology for Cooperative Extension
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2018
Conference NameInternational Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO 2018)
Date Published08/06/2018
PublisherInternational Conference on Biological Ontology
Keywordsagriculture, Cooperative Extension, expertise, ontology development

{The national Cooperative Extension System is a non-formal educational network with a mission of advancing agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and community economic development that is coordinated through and distributed across the state land-grant universities. At present there is no easy way to query knowledge assets across individual extension organizations with respect to expertise, accomplished projects, or successful interventions. In collaboration with the umbrella organization eXtension.org, we have developed a prototype ontology for describing expertise across the extension network. This ontology aims to provide a framework enabling linking experts, projects, organizations, competencies, digital resources, and other related assets. There are 14 major classes in this ontology: persons, roles, organizations, competencies, expertise types, subject domains, programs, networks, projects, activities, information resources, audiences, issues, and stakeholders. All these classes are anchored in the Basic Formal Ontology (Arp et al. 2015).Other ontologies used for these classes are FOAF, SKOS, the VIVO Ontology for Researcher Discovery (Mitchell 2018}),and the ASI Sustainable Sourcing Ontology (Hollander 2018). These classes fall into several categories. A couple of these classes such as information resources and subject domains tie into existing taxonomies, for instance subject domains being drawn from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Manual of Classification for Agricultural and Forestry Research, Education, and Extension (NIFA 2005). Other classes here are intended to support development of databases of instances, for instance directories of persons and organizations with information on subject domain expertise and competencies. Finally, several of these classes occupy structural positions in the ontology, for instance role serving as a class that links persons and organizations. A total of 197 classes are presentlydefined, including those enumerated from various taxonomies. Properties for this ontology have beendrawn from the Relations Ontology (Mungall 2018) and VIVO. At present 14 object properties havebeen incorporated in the ontology.Our development of this expertise ontology is part of a broader initiative to create a set of ontologies describing entities and interactions across the entirety of the food system, ranging from food production, impacts and linkages to the environment, to food consumption, nutrition, and human well-being.