Microsoft Releases Ontology Add-in for Microsoft Office Word 2007

Microsoft has released the open source Ontology Add-in for Microsoft Office Word 2007.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Addressing this critical challenge for researchers, Microsoft Corp. and Creative Commons announced today, before an industry panel at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference (ETech 2009, http://en.oreilly.com/et2009/), the release of the Ontology Add-in for Microsoft Office Word 2007 that will enable authors to easily add scientific hyperlinks as semantic annotations, drawn from ontologies, to their documents and research papers. Ontologies are shared vocabularies created and maintained by different academic domains to model their fields of study.

This Add-in will make it easier for scientists to link their documents to the Web in a meaningful way. Deployed on a wide scale, ontology-enabled scientific publishing will provide a Web boost to scientific discovery.

Science Commons, a division of Creative Commons, is incubating the adoption of semantic scientific publishing through creation of a robust database of ontologies (http://neurocommons.org) and development of supporting technical standards and code. Microsoft Research has built a technology bridge to enable the link between Microsoft Office Word 2007 and these ontologies.

"The Web is broken for scientific researchers—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."

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