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An ontology is a formal representation of a set of concepts within a domain, and the relationships between those concepts. Within this practical perspective the construction of an ontology consists of: a) selection of entities or objects to be included; b) definition of a controlled vocabulary; c) recognition of hierarchies, when existing.

The definition of ontology and controlled vocabulary in OpenTox is an imperative so as to standardize and organize high-level concepts, chemical information and toxicological data.  Distributed OpenTox services exchanging communications need to have unambiguous interpretations of the meaning of any terminology and data that they exchange between each other.

The definition of ontology and controlled vocabulary is also extremely important to the construction of the OpenTox data access and integration services. It contributes to the necessary standardization and rational organization of data, thus facilitating both vertical (e.g., within one toxicological endpoint) and horizontal (e.g., through different endpoints) retrievals.

OpenTox is supporting the creation and curation of OpenToxipedia, a community-based predictive toxicology knowledge resource.  All members of the community are welcome to provide term entries and suggested edits or additions to entries in the resource.

OpenTox is working on the evaulation, support and extensions of XML Schema for data management required for computer-based predictive toxicology modelling and reporting.

Endpoints for the OpenTox Ontology are described in the Endpoints section.

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