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Title: EXACT2: the semantics of biomedical protocols
Authors: Soldatova, LN
Nadis, D
King, RD
Basu, PS
Haddi, E
Baumlé, V
Saunders, NJ
Marwan, W
Rudkin, BB
Keywords: EXACT2;Biomedical protocols
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: BMC Bioinformatics, 15(Supplement 14): S5, (27 November 2014)
Abstract: Background: The reliability and reproducibility of experimental procedures is a cornerstone of scientific practice. There is a pressing technological need for the better representation of biomedical protocols to enable other agents (human or machine) to better reproduce results. A framework that ensures that all information required for the replication of experimental protocols is essential to achieve reproducibility. Methods: We have developed the ontology EXACT2 (EXperimental ACTions) that is designed to capture the full semantics of biomedical protocols required for their reproducibility. To construct EXACT2 we manually inspected hundreds of published and commercial biomedical protocols from several areas of biomedicine. After establishing a clear pattern for extracting the required information we utilized text-mining tools to translate the protocols into a machine amenable format. We have verified the utility of EXACT2 through the successful processing of previously ‘unseen’ (not used for the construction of EXACT2) protocols. Results: The paper reports on a fundamentally new version EXACT2 that supports the semantically-defined representation of biomedical protocols. The ability of EXACT2 to capture the semantics of biomedical procedures was verified through a text mining use case. In this EXACT2 is used as a reference model for text mining tools to identify terms pertinent to experimental actions, and their properties, in biomedical protocols expressed in natural language. An EXACT2-based framework for the translation of biomedical protocols to a machine amenable format is proposed. Conclusions: The EXACT2 ontology is sufficient to record, in a machine processable form, the essential information about biomedical protocols. EXACT2 defines explicit semantics of experimental actions, and can be used by various computer applications. It can serve as a reference model for for the translation of biomedical protocols in natural language into a semantically-defined format.
Description: © 2014 Soldatova et al.; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
This article has been made available through the Brunel Open Access Publishing Fund.
ISSN: 1471-2105
Appears in Collections:Brunel OA Publishing Fund
Dept of Computer Science Research Papers

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