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One of the common bottlenecks in annotation is the generation of new ontology classes. The standard workflow calls for the curator to make a request for a new class via some kind of tracking system. Ontology authors monitor the tracking system, and generate new classes on request. The curator then receives a message with the new class identifier, which can then be used in annotation. This is inefficient due to the lag between request and the generation of a new term. Curators can work more efficiently if classes are generated instantly on request.
Some commonly used ontologies are the Gene Ontology(GO) and phenotype ontologies such as the Mammalian Phenotype (MP). These ontologies frequently make use of combinatorial classes that conform to standard patterns. We have exploited this characteristic feature to devise a new compositional class request system that exploits logical reasoning.
The system is available here:
Any member of the GOC can request an account from Chris Mungall
The system can also be set up for other ontologies where logical definitions are provided
This system is working prototype will be replaced by TermGenie 1 (http://termgenie.googlecode.com)