An ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will gather, review, and discuss the literature on the development of ontologies in scientific disciplines with a focus on developing the same in the behavioral sciences. The committee will:
- Analyze the literature including a) definitions of components and requirements of ontology development and use; b) highlights of existing or emerging ontologies in the behavioral sciences, their respective advantages and disadvantages, and how they are currently used or could be used; c) descriptions of how ontology use and development in the behavioral sciences can accelerate discovery and enhance replicability and reproducibility.
- Synthesize the advantages and obstacles for behavioral ontology development and use, including provision of compelling-use cases that illustrate the need. The use cases should be related to NIH’s high priority areas which must be applicable to human health, of trans-disease relevance, and linkable to valid behavioral measures.
- Identify recommended approaches to building behavioral ontologies that are both rigorous and practical to maximize utility and uptake, as well as scientific relevance. This includes recommendations about linking behavioral ontologies across behavioral domains/constructs and to existing biomedical ontologies.
o Best practices and parameters for ontology development
- Draw conclusions and provide recommendations for improving behavioral ontology advancement including:
o Resource, infrastructure and training needs
o Governance principles
o Identification of high priority research areas
o Recommendations for enhancing uptake and use in behavioral research
o Recommendations for sustainability of the ontologies