Ontology engineering is mainly done by domain experts who are specialists in their domain but have, if at all, limited knowledge in logics, computer science, or analytic philosophy. The literature on formal ontologies and biomedical ontologies is neither suited nor intended to serve as an educational resource that would help domain experts to become good ontologists. Existing educational resources focus rather on ontology tools and languages than on good practice. The purpose of the GoodOD guideline is to pave the road for domain experts who want (or need) to become ontology engineers. It pursues the openly pragmatic approach that ontology engineers only need to know ontology theory to the extent which supports the (measurable) outcome of their work. The GoodOD Guideline builds upon given philosophical and methodological principles as well as preexisting tools and resources. In particular (pragmatic) scientific realism, first order logics and its subset OWL-DL (description logics), set theory, an upper-level ontology with high-level categories and a canonic set of relations, constraints which limit the freedom of choice when building coordinate expressions, the ontology editor Protégé 4, a complete DL reasoner, such as HermIT, ontology design patterns, and naming conventions.
Given these precepts the guideline contains all the knowledge to be acquired by a user to be able to solve ontology engineering problems in a foreseeable and non-arbitrary way. The didactic concept is to convey the skills not only by theory but also by practical examples.
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