A new international Task Group on Materials Ontologies was launched at the Research Data Alliance’s 13th Plenary Meeting in Philadelphia on 4th April 2019. The Task Group is part of the remit of the RDA/CODATA Interest Group on Materials Data. It recognises the growing importance of ontologies in the Materials Science domain for delivering on the objectives and opportunities connected with digitalisation and “Materials 4.0”, in particular interoperability, information transparency, decision support based on data plus models and artificial intelligence.
There is an impressive and growing body of work on materials ontologies, in particular concerning database integration. with recent applications including a metallic materials ontology derived from the semantic knowledge base YAGO and a catalyst materials ontology including an integration of a database of computational data and one consisting of experimental data. Furthermore, the European Materials Modelling Council has been spearheading the development of a general materials science ontology framework, the European Materials & Modelling Ontology EMMO. Furthermore, there is a rich body of work related to chemicals and nanoparticles and nanomaterials safety, as well as analytical chemistry/characterisation.
The scope of the Task Group includes any type of materials/substance in any state at any scale and any ontology about materials or directly linked to materials, e.g. characterisation, modelling, processing, safety etc.
The Task Group initial topics and objectives include:
- Creating awareness of pertinent RDA recommendations and reports concerning ontologies.
- Networking of groups around the world with an interest in Materials Ontologies and mapping the field.
- Making materials ontologies FAIR.
- Collecting use cases and requirements.
- Developing recommendations on governance of materials ontologies.
- Discussion on upper level ontologies in the context of materials science needs.
- Interoperability of materials ontologies and interfacing with ontology developments in adjacent fields such a manufacturing.
- Ontology Alignment.
Communication about the Task Group will be carried out via the RDA/CODATA IG on Materials Data (so please join!).