Applied Ontology

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Ontological Analysis and Conceptual Modeling

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Applied Ontology
impact factor 2016 1.296
ISSN print
ISSN online
12; 4 issues
Last issue (12:1) online on 14 march 2017
Next issue
12:2 scheduled for June 2017
Back volumes
Artificial Intelligence, Computer & Communication Sciences, Semantic Web
Institutional subscription for 2017 €515 / US$670 Excluding VAT

IOS Press is pleased to announce that Dr. Roberta Ferrario and Prof. Michael Gruninger have accepted the appointment as new Editors-in-Chief of Applied Ontology. Previously Associate Editors of the journal, they will take over the editorship from Prof. Mark Musen and Dr. Nicola Guarino, who have run the journal successfully since its launch in 2005. The change in editorship will commence in January 2017 with Volume 11. Prof. Musen and Dr. Guarino will continue to support the journal as Founding Editors and assist the new Editors-in-Chief during the transition period. Dr. Ferrario and Prof. Gruninger bring an outstanding record of scholarship and professional service to Applied Ontology and will continue work on the development of the journal and the scientific community surrounding it, including cooperation with theInternational Association for Ontology and its Applications and important conferences in the field. On behalf of IOS Press, the editorial board, authors, reviewers, and readers we wish to express gratitude to Prof. Musen and Dr. Guarino for their commitment during the first ten years of publishing Applied Ontology. Their hard work and devotion have made the journal the highly regarded publication it is today. We look forward to advancing the journal further into the next decade under the leadership of Dr. Ferrario and Prof. Gruninger. About the new Editors Dr. Roberta Ferrario is a researcher in the Laboratory for Applied Ontology at the Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technologies of the Italian National Research Council in Trento, where she has worked since 2003. After finishing her Ph.D. in Philosophy in a joint program between the Universities of Milan (Italy) and Strasbourg (France), she spent an academic year at the Suppes Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Science and Technology of Stanford University. Dr. Ferrario studies the ontology of mind, of organizations and of services. Recently, she has turned her attention to the ontology of socio-technical systems and on the integration of ontological and computer vision approaches. She is the author of more than 80 scientific publications. Dr. Ferrario served as Assistant Editor of Applied Ontology from 2005 until 2014, and she has been Associate Editor since 2015. Dr. Ferrario serves on the executive council of the International Association for Ontology and its Applications. Prof. Michael Gruninger is an associate professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto, where he has been on the faculty since 2010. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta (Canada) in 2000, and he has worked in the area of formal ontology and its applications to industrial problems for the past twenty years. Prof. Gruninger has published over 90 peer-reviewed papers, including a seminal paper in the methodology of ontology design and evaluation. His current research focuses on the design and formal characterization of theories in mathematical logic and their application to problems in manufacturing and enterprise engineering. Several of Prof. Gruninger's projects have been incorporated into international standards, including the Process Specification Language (ISO 18629) and Common Logic (ISO 24707). In 2015, Prof. Gruninger became a Fellow of the Vespucci Institute for the Advancement of Geographic Information Science. Prof. Gruninger is currently President of the International Association for Ontology and its Applications.

Special Tenth Anniversary Issue online:

Call for Papers Special Issue on Sensor Ontologies, guest-edited by Werner Kuhn and Ling Bian: click here for details.

Applied Ontology is affiliated with the International Association for Ontology and its Applications (IAOA).

International Association for Ontology and its Applications (IAOA)

In recent years, the dramatic growth of information and communication technologies has led to an increasingly interdisciplinary approach to research and development activities in these fields. To exploit the immense opportunities of widespread networks effectively, designers of modern information systems need to combine the precision of formal semantics with the needs of cognitive transparency, as they incorporate increasingly sophisticated and heterogeneous information content. The recent explosion of interest on ontologies is an important component of this trend. Researchers in disciplines such as knowledge engineering, information systems modeling, artificial intelligence, formal and computational linguistics, information retrieval, library science, and knowledge management have come to realize that a solid foundation for their research calls for serious work in ontology, understood as a general theory of the types of entities and relations that make up their respective domains of inquiry. In all these areas, attention has started to focus squarely on the content of information, rather than on just the formats and languages used to represent that content.

Applied Ontology focuses on information content in its broadest sense. As the subtitle makes clear, two broad kinds of content-based research activities are envisioned: ontological analysis and conceptual modeling. The former includes any attempt to investigate the nature and structure of a domain of interest using rigorous philosophical or logical tools; the latter concerns the cognitive and linguistic structures we use to model the world, as well as the various analysis tools and methodologies we adopt for producing useful computational models, such as information systems schemes or knowledge structures. Applied Ontology is the first journal with explicit and exclusive focus on ontological analysis and conceptual modeling under an interdisciplinary view. It aims to establish a unique niche in the realm of scientific journals by carefully avoiding unnecessary duplication with discipline-oriented journals. For this reason, authors will be encouraged to use language that will be intelligible also to those outside their specific sector of expertise, and the review process will be tailored to this end. For example, authors of theoretical contributions will be encouraged to show the relevance of their theory for applications, while authors of more technological papers will be encouraged to show the relevance of a well-founded theoretical perspective. Moreover, the journal will publish papers focusing on representation languages or algorithms only where these address relevant content issues, whether at the level of practical application or of theoretical understanding. Similarly, it will publish descriptions of tools or implemented systems only where a contribution to the practice of ontological analysis and conceptual modeling is clearly established.

Applied Ontology aims at being a major publication forum for theoretical and applied research in a variety of topics, tentatively grouped together in research areas, examples of which are indicated in the list below.

  • Foundational issues • Philosophical foundations of ontology • Basic ontological categories and relations • Ontology, epistemology, and semiotics
  • Specialized ontologies • Ontology of time, events and processes • Ontology of space and geography • Ontology of physics and physical objects • Ontology of biomedicine • Ontology of mental entities • Ontology of agents and actions • Ontology of organizations and social reality • Ontology of the information society • Ontology of business and e-commerce • Ontology of law • Ontology of history, culture and evolution
  • Ontology development and ontology-driven conceptual modeling • Methodologies for ontology development • Impact of ontological analysis on current modeling practices • Best-practice examples and case studies
  • Ontology management • Tools for ontology development, analysis and comparison • Comparison and evaluation of ontologies • Ontology management, maintenance, versioning • Methodologies for ontology merging, alignment, and integration • Semantic Web
  • Ontology and language • Ontology and natural-language semantics • Ontology and lexical resources • Ontology and terminology • Ontology learning techniques and their evaluation • Role of ontology in natural-language systems
  • Ontology, cognition, perception • Conceptual schemas, perceptual invariances and ontological categorization • Psychological experiments evaluating the cognitive adequacy of ontological categories
  • Ontology and content standards • Library science • Knowledge organization • Museums and cultural repositories • Multimedia content • Product descriptions • Process and service descriptions • Biomedical and other scientific terminologies
  • Innovative ontology-based applications

Michael Gruninger
University of Toronto
Dept. of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
5 King's College Road
Toronto, Ont. M5S 3G8 

Roberta Ferrario
Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technologies
National Research Council
Via alla Cascata 56/C
38100 Povo (Trento)

Founding Editors
Nicola Guarino
National Research Council Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technologies (ISTC-CNR), Italy

Mark A. Musen
Stanford University, USA

Associate Editors
John A. Bateman
Bremen University, Germany

Antony Galton
University of Exeter, United Kingdom

Giancarlo Guizzardi
Federal University of Espírito Santo, Brazil

Leo Obrst
The MITRE Corporation, USA

Alan Rector
Manchester University, United Kingdom

Barry Smith
State University of New York at Buffalo, USA

Michael F. Uschold
Reinvent Technology, Vancouver, Canada

Laure Vieu
IRIT-CNRS, Toulouse, France

Editorial Board
João Paulo Almeida
Federal University of Espírito Santo, Brazil

Bill Andersen
Ontology Works Inc., USA

Nathalie Aussenac-Gilles
Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France

Brandon Bennett
University of Leeds, United Kingdom

Thomas Bittner
University at Buffalo, USA

Olivier Bodenreider
National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, USA

Guido Boella
University of Torino, Italy

Alex Borgida
Rutgers University, USA

Stefano Borgo
ISTC-CNR, Trento, Italy

Paolo Bouquet
University of Trento, Italy

Joost Breuker
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Boyan Brodaric
e-Science Institute, Scotland

Roberto Casati
CNRS-EHESS, Paris, France

Vinay Chaudhri
SRI International, USA

Philipp Cimiano
University of Bielefeld, Germany

Martin Dörr
Foundation for Research and Technology, Heraklion, Greece

John Domingue
The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

Maureen Donnelly
University at Buffalo, USA

Christiane Fellbaum
Princeton University, USA

Aldo Gangemi
ISTC-CNR, Rome, Italy

Editorial Board (cont'd.)
Pawel Garbacz
The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland

Yolanda Gil
University of Southern California, Marina del Rey, USA

Pierre Grenon
European Bioinformatics Institute, United Kingdom

Terry Halpin
LogicBlox Inc, USA

Janna Hastings
European Bioinformatics Institute, United Kingdom

Heinrich Herre
University of Leipzig, Germany

Pascal Hitzler
Wright State University, USA

Krzysztof Janowicz
University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Paul Johannesson
Stockholm University, Sweden

Yoshinobu Kitamura
Osaka University, Japan

Werner Kuhn
University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Oliver Kutz
Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy

Doug B. Lenat
Cycorp, Austin, USA

David M. Mark
State University of New York at Buffalo, USA

Claudio Masolo
ISTC-CNR, Trento, Italy

William E. McCarthy
Michigan State University, USA

Riichiro Mizoguchi
Osaka University, Japan

John Mylopoulos
University of Toronto, Canada

Natasha Noy
Google Inc., USA

Chris Partridge
BORO Solutions, United Kingdom

Oscar Pastor Lopez Valencia
University of Technology, Spain

Maria T. Pazienza
University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy

Massimo Poesio
University of Trento, Italy

Florian Probst
SAP Research, Darmstadt, Germany

James Pustejovsky
Brandeis University, Waltham, USA

Johanna Seibt
Aarhus University, Denmark

Yuval Shahar
Ben Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel

Amit P. Sheth
Wright State University, Dayton, USA

John F. Sowa
VivoMind Intelligence Inc., USA

Veda Storey
Georgia State University, Atlanta, USA

Yair Wand
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Assistant Editor
Isabella Distinto
Engineering Tributi S.p.a.
Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technologies
National Research Council
Via alla Cascata 56/C
38100 Povo (Trento)
Tel.: +39 0461 314840
Email: isabella.distinto [@loa.istc.cnr [dotit  

Instructions to authors
For detailed instructions please refer to the Applied Ontology page on the IOS Press website:

Submission of manuscripts
Authors are requested to submit their manuscript electronically through the journal’s editorial management system at: ("Submit Manuscript"). Correspondence concerning editorial matters as well as information regarding submissions should be sent to the assistant editor, Isabella Distinto. Email: isabella.distinto [@loa.istc.cnr [dotit

Note that the manuscript should be uploaded as one .pdf file with tables and figures included.

Required files
For initial submission a .pdf file of the article is sufficient. After an article has been accepted for publication an editable file of the text, such as MsWord or LateX, is required. If you are uploading a paper that has been accepted for publication or accepted pending minor revisions please upload the source files of the paper. If using LaTeX please use our LaTeX template and also send a pdf version of the LaTeX file as well as separate files of all figures (if any); see "Preparation of manuscripts" for the required file formats. LaTeX packages should be compiled into .zip or .rar files.

Colour figures
It is possible to have figures printed in colour, provided the cost of their reproduction is paid for by the author. See Preparation of Manuscripts for the required file formats.

Open Access option
The IOS Press Open Library® offers authors an Open Access (OA) option. By selecting the OA option, the article will be freely available from the moment it is published, also in the pre-press module. In the Open Library® the article processing charges are paid in the form of an Open Access Fee. Authors will receive an Open Access Order Form upon acceptance of their article. Open Access is entirely optional. See also our website for more information about this option IOS Press Open Library®

IOS Pre-press
This journal publishes all its articles in the IOS Press Pre-Press module. By publishing articles ahead of print the latest research can be accessed much quicker. The pre-press articles are the uncorrected proof versions of the article and are published online shortly after the proof is created. Pre-press articles are fully citable by using the DOI number. As soon as the pre-press article is assigned to an issue, the author corrections will be incorporated and final bibliographic information will be added. The pre-press version will then be replaced by the updated, final version  


Organization of the paper and style of presentation
Manuscripts must be written in English and American spelling should be used consistently throughout the manuscript. Authors whose native language is not English are recommended to seek the advice of a native English speaker, if possible, before submitting their manuscripts. Peerwith offers a language and copyediting service to all scientists who want to publish their manuscript in scientific peer-reviewed periodicals and books. Manuscripts should be prepared with wide margins and double spacing throughout, including the abstract, footnotes and references. Every page of the manuscript, including the title page, references, tables, etc., should be numbered. However, in the text no reference should be made to page numbers; if necessary, one may refer to sections. Try to avoid the excessive use of italics and bold face.

Manuscripts should be organized in the following order: 

  • Title page
  • Body of text (divided by subheadings) 
  • Acknowledgements 
  • References 
  • Tables 
  • Figure captions 
  • Figures Headings and subheadings should be numbered and typed on a separate line, without indentation. SI units should be used, i.e., the units based on the metre, kilogramme, second, etc. 

Title page
The title page should provide the following information:

  • Title (should be clear, descriptive and not too long)
  • Name(s) of author(s); please indicate who is the corresponding author
  • Full affiliation(s)
  • Present address of author(s), if different from affiliation
  • Complete address of corresponding author, including tel. no., fax no. and e-mail address
  • Abstract; should be clear, descriptive, self-explanatory and not longer than 200 words, it should also be suitable for publication in abstracting services
  • Keywords. 

Number as Table 1, Table 2 etc, and refer to all of them in the text. All tables should be contained within the manuscript itself, and embedded in the text. Each table should have a brief and self-explanatory title. Column headings should be brief, but sufficiently explanatory. Standard abbreviations of units of measurement should be added between parentheses. Vertical lines should not be used to separate columns. Leave some extra space between the columns instead. Any explanations essential to the understanding of the table should be given in footnotes at the bottom of the table.

Number figures as Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc and refer to all of them in the text. All figures and other graphics should be contained within the manuscript itself, and embedded in the text. Colour figures can be included, provided the cost of their reproduction is paid for by the author. For the file formats of the figures please take the following into account: - line art should be have a minimum resolution of 600 dpi, save as EPS or TIFF - grayscales (incl photos) should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (no lettering), or 500 dpi (when there is lettering); save as tiff - do not save figures as JPEG, this format may lose information in the process - do not use figures taken from the Internet, the resolution will be too low for printing - do not use colour in your figures if they are to be printed in black & white, as this will reduce the print quality (note that in software often the default is colour, you should change the settings) - for figures that should be printed in colour, please send a CMYK encoded EPS or TIFF Figures should be designed with the format of the page of the journal in mind. They should be of such a size as to allow a reduction of 50%. On maps and other figures where a scale is needed, use bar scales rather than numerical ones, i.e., do not use scales of the type 1:10,000. This avoids problems if the figures need to be reduced. Each figure should have a self-explanatory caption. The captions to all figures should be typed on a separate sheet of the manuscript. Photographs are only acceptable if they have good contrast and intensity.

Authors are requested to use the APA (American Psychological Association) citation style. APA in-text citations should include the author's last name followed by the year of publication. All publications cited in the text should be presented in an alphabetical list of references at the end of the manuscript. Submitted articles can be listed as (author(s), unpublished data). See their website for more information. Authors are responsible for checking the accuracy of all references. Manuscripts will not be considered if they do not conform to the APA citation guidelines.

References must be listed alphabetically in APA style:
Anderson, A. K. (2005). Affective influences on the attentional dynamics supporting awareness. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 154, 258–281.
Anderson, A. K., Christoff, K., Panitz, D., De Rosa, E., & Gabrieli, J. D. E. (2003). Neural correlates of the automatic processing of threat facial signals. Journal of Neuroscience, 23, 5627–5633.
Armony, J. L., & Dolan, R. J. (2002). Modulation of spatial attention by fear-conditioned stimuli: An event-related fMRI study. Neuropsychologia, 40, 817–826.
Beck, A. T., Epstein, N., Brown, G., & Steer, R. A. (1988). An inventory for measuring clinical anxiety: Psychometric properties. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56,893–897.
Calvo, M. G., & Lang, P. J. (2004). Gaze patterns when looking at emotional pictures: Motivationally biased attention. Motivation and Emotion, 28, 221–243.
Carretie, L., Hinojosa, J. A., Martin-Loeches, M., Mecado, F., & Tapia, M. (2004). Automatic attention to emotional stimuli: Neural correlates. Human Brain Mapping, 22, 290–299.  

Copyright of your article
Authors submitting a manuscript do so on the understanding that they have read and agreed to the terms of the IOS Press Author Copyright Agreement.

Quoting from other publications
An author, when quoting from someone else's work or when considering reproducing figures or table from a book or journal article, should make sure that he is not infringing a copyright. Although in general an author may quote from other published works, he should obtain permission from the holder of the copyright if he wishes to make substantial extracts or to reproduce tables, plates or other figures. If the copyright holder is not the author of the quoted or reproduced material, it is recommended that the permission of the author should also be sought. Material in unpublished letters and manuscripts is also protected and must not be published unless permission has been obtained. Submission of a paper will be interpreted as a statement that the author has obtained all the necessary permission. A suitable acknowledgement of any borrowed material must always be made.  

The corresponding author will receive a PDF proof and is asked to check this proof carefully (the publisher will execute a cursory check only). Corrections other than printer's errors, however, should be avoided. Costs arising from such corrections will be charged to the authors.  

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