Project eTOX explains ontologies

(Press release, IMI newsletter Nov. 2012)

 One of the goals of IMI project eTOX, coordinated by the GRIB, is to predict safety issues in silico (i.e. using computer models) by learning from companies’ existing preclinical data. The extraction of reports containing this data is now well advanced, raising the issue of standardisation. The question facing eTOX is: how can the project make sure that everybody uses the same term to describe the same thing? The answer lies in ontologies :the description of preferred terms and synonyms to be used in various places, as well as the relationships between the terms. Within eTOX, many ontologies are employed. Some of these are already available in the public domain in order to increase interoperability, while others have been created by the consortium because nothing was available yet. These new ontologies will be released into the public domain and discussed with interested partners (e.g. CDISC and IMI project OpenPhacts). The consortium will also release its annotation software, the first truly collaborative interface dedicated to crowd sourcing of ontology annotations.

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