The first Ontologies4Chem Workshop organised by NFDI4Chem took place on September 7th – 8th 2022 as an online event with over 50 international participants. The overarching aim of the workshop was to bring together experts from various ontology projects with domain/ontology experts, software developers and service providers from NFDI4Chem and other NFDI consortia related to chemistry. After a brief introduction of NFDI4Chem and our previous work on identifying ontologies relevant to the NFDI4Chem context, the focus of the first day of the workshop was on reports and discussion of the current state and future plans of most of the relevant chemistry ontologies (CHEMINF, Chebi, ChIRO, EDAM, CHEMROF, OBI, SIO, CHMO, RXNO, MOP) presented by their curators. The presentation of the ontologies was complemented by the IUPAC Gold Book as definition source. As an additional perspective, NFDI4Cat and NFDI4Health presented their plans and application of ontologies. The first day closed with an update on tools like ROBOT, NFDI4Chem Terminology Service and ODK, used for developing and working with ontologies. The second day of the workshop was focused on exchanging experiences and discussing best practices in ontology development and curation as well as on data annotation using ontologies. It began with previous work done in NFDI4Chem towards Raman & NMR spectroscopy and future developments for the Terminology Service, followed by ontology development workflows in NFDI4Cat, extending Bioschemas.org towards chemistry, the IUPAC FairSpec project, the application of ontologies in Pubchem and ClassyFire framework. The day ended with two parallel breakout sessions for deeper discussions and hands-on demonstrations on data annotations and ontology curation.
The most important outcome of the workshop was a wide agreement on working closer together with the involved communities to improve the quality of existing chemical ontologies, as well as on engaging more domain experts in the field. A mailing list and a dedicated chemistry channel in the OBO Slack were launched to stay in touch and plan the next steps.
There will be a second Ontologies4Chem Workshop in 2023!