Thanks to the EOSC Co-creation fund, we have been able to take a number of important steps forward. Firstly, through increased and repeated interaction with the community, we have been able to grow and refine the terminology itself. The terminology now has a greater number of terms, definitions and relationships. More importantly, the terminology model has been refined to better serve the two use cases and to provide richer linked annotation. Terms4FAIRskills has also provided an excellent use case as a pilot for the Semaphora annotation tool, which has benefited from use in the hack sessions and has also provided a suitable environment for increased and more accurate annotation.
Based on our experiences, we offer the following recommendations:
Plurality: Development teams should include ontologists and annotators from varied disciplines/sectors appropriate to the use cases, to ensure the terminology does not rely upon discipline/sector-specific assumptions;
Communication is key:
- Teams should provide for sufficient effort for engagement and communication as - particularly in short-term, agile work - it is critical that community engagement is focused, relevant, quick and responsive, and that engagement is tracked and timely communications are made on schedule;
- Terminology building projects, such as this one, should include the community at all stages of development, both in terms of the development and performance of annotations but also the competency questions the terminology is designed for. This will reduce the opportunity for scope creep and will ensure both the annotations and the terminology are tightly defined and appropriate for the use cases;
- Communication is as clear and inclusive as possible. With any community project, it’s important to ensure the aims are clear and agreed upon among all parties and that a governance system, however basic, is in place. In addition, frequent communication with end-users is fundamental;
- Openness - It’s important that the principles of Open Science are followed in any community project, but particularly in a project where a terminology is being built by one stakeholder for use by others;
Best Practice: Work, where possible and available, follows accepted community standards, such as the FAIR semantics and OBO Foundry guidelines as this will ensure the best possible practice.