At the occasion of ICEI 2018, LifeWatch Italy, together with LifeWatch Greece and other RIs, organises its special session "S1.6 _ Semantics for biodiversity and ecosystem research", chaired by Alsayed Algergawy, Clement Jonquet, Naouel Karam, Friederike Klan, Nikos Minadakis, Alessandro Oggioni and Ilaria Rosati.
Biodiversity research aims at comprehending the totality and variability of organisms, their morphology, genetics, life history, habitats and geographical ranges; including the network of interactions with the abiotic and biotic components. Ecosystem research puts its focus on how natural systems and their valuable resources can be protected and thus is tightly coupled to biodiversity. Both domains are outstanding not only with respect to their societal relevance, but also from a data science point of view. They deal with heterogeneous and distributed data resources generated from a large number of disciplines which need to be integrated to advance scientific knowledge in these areas. The presence of such a myriad of data resources makes integrative biodiversity and ecosystem research increasingly important, but at the same time very challenging. It is severely strangled by the way data and information are made available and handled today. Semantic Web techniques have shown their potential to enhance data interoperability, discovery and integration by providing common formats to achieve a formalized conceptual environment, but have not been widely applied to address open data management issues in the biodiversity domain as well as in ecosystem research. This session aims at bringing together computer scientists, biologists and ecologists working on Semantic Web approaches in biodiversity and ecosystem research, including related areas such as agro-ecology. Building on the success of a number of initiatives of the organizers, such as the "Thesauri & Semantics in the Ecological Domain", "Ontology & Semantic Web for Web for Research" and "Semantics for Biodiversity" workshops, the goal of the session is to keep up the positive momentum and attempt to define a common strategy for advancing semantic web approaches in these domains.
The goal is to present new ideas and early on experiences related to the design of high quality biodiversity and ecosystem information systems based on Semantic Web techniques and to foster the exchange on these topics between disciplines. We welcome topics related to the development and application of semantic technologies to support research in the biodiversity and ecosystem domain and related areas. These include, but are not limited to the following areas: · Applications of Semantic Web technologies for biodiversity · Semantic data integration · Development and design of domain specific ontologies · Ontology-based applications · Semantic annotation of biodiversity data · Semantic approaches for the discovery of biodiversity data and research data services · Semantic support for scientific workflows · Data provenance and reproducibility · Data lifecycle management · Knowledge extraction and text mining · Ontology learning · Standards for biodiversity Data · Linked Open biodiversity Data · Ontology development for biodiversity · Semantic representation of biodiversity and ecosystem data · Interoperability of biodiversity and earth observation data
Keywords: semantic web, biodiversity data, ecosystem data, integrative research, semantic annotation, semantic data integration, semantic data interoperability, ontology bS1.6 _ Semantics for biodiversity and ecosystem research.