Hi Claudia
you wrote:

> We had a discussion about tools that allow for creating ontologies
> (or at least structured vocabularies) collaboratively in the context
> of terminology curation in the biological domain.
> Some people were in favor for Semantic MediaWiki, which made me
> wonder if there are other projects than Wikidata that are using
> Wikibase for structuring their data.

I recently collected a list of Open Source web applications to create
Knowledge Organization Systems - including SMW and Wikibase:


The list lacks https://pypi.python.org/pypi/atramhasis and I omitted
applications with major focus on terminology management for translation
(aka termbases).

Both SWM and Wikibase support creation of knowledge bases without strict
schemata. The downside of their flexibility is a lack of constraints and
workflows that must be build on to of them with additional tools. Choice
of the right software for creating structured vocabularies very much
depends on the types and requirements of your vocabularies.

If you want some control, e.g. suggested and approved changes,
hierachies, controll of synonyms and homonyms and your vocabulary is a
"classical" knowledge organization system such as a authority files,
thesaurus or classifications, you may better try a dedicated software
such as the editors I found. I have not evaluated these applications so
I'am also curious about experiences with iQvoc, TemaTres, VocBench,
Ginco, and atramhasis.

If your vocabulary is more going to be an ontology then Semantic
MediaWiki or Wikibase (possibly also Web Protégé or VoCol) may be
required with additional customization. I'd first ask what you actually
mean by "ontology" - many so called ontologies are actually simply
extended thesauri, classifications or even dump term list that could
also be managed in a shared Google Spreadsheet.

My own experience in collaborative creating structured vocabularies
mainly focus small controlled list (=no need for dedicated software) and
on Wikidata (see http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-1676/paper2.pdf). The latter is
a special case because you must involve in the existing Wikimedia
communities with all of its benefits (motivated collaborators,
real-world entities connected to other vocabularies, fame and glory...)
and downsides (less control, possibly tiresome discussions...). I prefer
this approach of harvesting and extending vocabularies from Wikidata
because the vocabularies are (or at least expected to be) founded in
actual use of terms by their connection to Wikidata articles instead
building yet another ivory tower ontology.

That's all for now, looking forward for more uses cases and experiences,
Jakob Voß

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