Using a Method and Tool for Hybrid Ontology Engineering: an Evaluation in the Flemish Research Information Space
We report on the results of the application of a method and tool for ontology construction in the research information domain, held in the context of an open data initiative of Flanders. The method emphasizes the use of natural language descriptions of concepts next to formal descriptions, and uses - for the formal definitions -a fact-oriented formalism grounded in natural language. In this experiment, a group of 36 participants were divided into different groups to build ontologies to establish semantic interoperability between autonomously developed research information systems and to annotate the data of an existing system provided by a public administration. User satisfaction of the tool was measured with the Post-Study System Usability Questionnaire. The result of that survey was that the participants were generally pleased with the platform, with its usefulness scoring best. As for the developed ontologies, their use was demonstrated by the applications developed by the participants. The experiment showed that having a formalism grounded in natural language leverages the ontology construction process for the stakeholders. The experiment also shows that a method needs to take into account the collaborative building of workflows within ontology projects, as not all ontology-engineering projects are alike.