BACKGROUND: Incorporating the feedback of expert stakeholders in ontology development is important to ensure content is appropriate, comprehensive, meets community needs and is interoperable with other ontologies and classification systems . However, domain experts are often not formally engaged in ontology development, and there is little available guidance on how this involvement should best be conducted and managed . Social and behavioural science studies often involve expert feedback in the development of tools and classification systems but have had little engagement with ontology development . This paper aims to (i) demonstrate how expert feedback can enhance ontology development, and (ii) provide practical recommendations on how to conduct expert feedback in ontology development using methodologies from the social and behavioural sciences . MAIN BODY: Considerations for selecting methods for engaging stakeholders are presented . Mailing lists and issue trackers as existing methods used frequently in ontology development are discussed . Advisory boards and working groups, feedback tasks, consensus exercises, discussions and workshops are presented as potential methods from social and behavioural sciences to incorporate in ontology development .
CONCLUSIONS: A variety of methods from the social and behavioural sciences exist to enable feedback from expert stakeholders in ontology development . Engaging domain experts in ontology development enables depth and clarity in ontology development, whilst also establishing advocates for an ontology upon its completion.
Index: Feedback, Ontology development, Social sciences, Stakeholders