Microsoft and Creative Commons add ontologies to Word

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Microsoft and Creative Commons have developed an ontology add-in for Word 2007. Announced at the recent O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, this development should enable authors to add scientific hyperlinks as semantic annotations, drawn from ontologies, to their documents and research papers. This should make it easier for researchers to find peer-related documents and mark up papers as science evolves.

'The web is full of hyperlinks of scholarly articles, but it is nearly impossible for us to find what we need,' said John Wilbanks, vice president for science at Creative Commons. 'The semantic Web tool will help bridge the gap between basic research and meaningful discovery, unlocking the value of research so more people can benefit from the work scientists are doing.'

Microsoft is making the source code for the add-in available under the Open Source Initiative (OSI)-approved Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) on CodePlex, Microsoft’s Web site for hosting open source projects. This means that users can improve the add-in or even to port it to other publishing systems. This is hoped to facilitate the growth of scientific semantic publishing and furthering a wide range of work in biology, computer science, chemistry, history and other academic fields.