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[Gofriends] Evidence Code Ontology (ECO) new release
mchibucos at som.umaryland.edu
Thu Jan 20 14:45:05 PST 2011
To Evidence Code Ontology users:
The Evidence Code Ontology (ECO; evidence_code.obo) has undergone
substantial revision over the past year, and this release contains many
significant changes, outlined below. The present release is the first of
several to come over the next several months in our ongoing effort to
improve ECO with respect to ontology structure and logic, definitions,
and user requests. Here we have attempted to tackle the major and most
pressing issues, although further changes, such as modifying definitions
of more granular terms and addressing user requests will continue.
1. Removal of "inferred from" and cleaning definitions:
In its prior form, ECO was inconsistent with respect to whether it was
an ontology of evidence types, inferences, or experiment. We believe it
should be an ontology of evidence types, and have modified terms and
structure accordingly. Consequently we removed the "inferred from" text
from the term names (all of the evidence types are used in the act of
inference, and including that text in each term name is essentially
meaningless). We have maintained the former "inferred from X" names and
three letter codes as synonyms. We have also cleared references to GO
annotation practices in definitions (this is still a work in progress).
Many of the details previously found in the definitions can now be found
in the comments.
2. Introduction of "assertion method" and cross product terms:
In this significant change, the ontology now has two roots, an evidence
type and an assertion method. The evidence type forms the backbone of
the ontology, where each evidence term describes a type of information
used to support an assertion (evidence is now defined). The assertion
method is the means, either automatic or manual, by which a statement is
made about an entity. For all terms in the ontology, cross products of
manual assertion and evidence type will be made (at present this is not
complete). Where appropriate, automatic cross products will be
completed, as well. Annotation should be performed using the cross
3. Renaming of IEA, RCA, and other terms:
The GO evidence code "inferred from electronic annotation" has been
renamed "automatic assertion" (and synonyms for the prior term made). A
new group of terms was created to reflect "combinatorial analysis". In
silico analysis was merged into "combinatorial analysis" and "reviewed
computational analysis" (RCA) was renamed "computational combinatorial
analysis" and made a child term.
4. Obsoletion of "not_recorded":
We made NR obsolete, as it is not a type of evidence.
5. New evidence terms:
We have added the three new "NOT" evidence codes. We have constructed
their names and definitions to conform to the guidelines we have
established for ECO. They are children of the term "phylogenetic
evidence", itself a child of "similarity". We have added three-letter
codes as synonyms. We have added a number of other evidence types in
response to user requests, such as terms that describe: various
sequencing types, chromatin immunoprecipitation, PCR, chromatin
conformation capture, anatomical perturbation, morpholino experiment,
immunolocalization, and so forth.
6. Future work:
We will continue to clean up terms and definitions in future upcoming
releases, focusing in particular on more granular term definitions. We
will also add the full complement of the manual assertion method by
evidence type cross products; we will add automatic assertion method by
evidence types in response to user requests. We will continue to map ECO
terms to the Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI).
Please post comments, term requests, and questions on the SourceForge
tracker at http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?group_id=36855&atid=1127740 .
We are happy to provide additional details on the changes; please
contact us if you have any questions.
Marcus Chibucos and Michelle Giglio
Institute for Genome Sciences
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