Call for Input on a Proposal for the Minimal Reporting on an Ontology

If one were reading or reviewing a paper reporting on an ontology’s development, what information would you like to be reported? The survey below is a proposal for some guidelines for the Minimal Information for Reporting an Ontology (MIRO).


The survey asks you to rate the importance of each guideline and optionally comment on each guideline – on any aspect including wording. There’s also an opportunity to say what you believe is missing.


The survey may be found at the link:


Participants so far report completion times of around ten minutes.


As we read and review papers describing an ontology we often find that various aspects of the ontology itself and how it was made are not well reported. As an author of a paper we have views on what to report in a given space, but these views may or may not coincide with those of the reviewers and the readers. So, we’d like to find out what as wide a collection of people as we can reasonably reach think are the minimal information for reporting on an ontology. These guidelines will then be available to the community of authors and reviewers to help make the process of disseminating information about an ontology more consistent and contain what readers need to see. These can form guidelines for both reviewers and authors of papers. To do this we’d like to have as much ontology community input as possible.


Once we have input we will review what we get as feedback and revise the MIRO guidelines appropriately. We will also publish a summary of the responses to the survey and what we plan to do in response.


We appreciate your co-operation in reviewing our proposal.


Robert Stevens (1), James Malone (2) and Chris Mungall (3)


(1) University of Manchester, UK

(2) FactBio, UK

(3) Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, USA


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