Using the cDnS ontology as upper-level for a scholarly debate ontology

Benn, Neil (2010). Using the cDnS ontology as upper-level for a scholarly debate ontology. In: Formal Ontology in Information Systems - Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference (FOIS 2010), IOS Press, pp. 359–372.



There is an active area of research concerned with designing tools that support quantitative and qualitative analysis of academic knowledge domains. Knowledge Domain Analysis (KDA) research investigates computational support for users who desire to understand and/or participate in the scholarly inquiry of a given academic knowledge domain. KDA technology supports this task by allowing users to identify important features of the knowledge domain such as the predominant research topics, the experts in the domain, and the most influential researchers. However, a key limitation of work to date is its inability to provide machine-readable models of the debate in academic knowledge domains. This paper argues that KDA technology should support users in understanding the features of scholarly debate as a prerequisite for engaging with their chosen domain. To this end, the paper proposes a Scholarly Debate Ontology which specifies the formal vocabulary for representing debate in academic knowledge domains. The ontology is designed with reference to an upper-level ontology that specifies the generic elements of any domain, such as academic domains, where knowledge is collectively constructed and modified by social agents.

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