Call for papersSpecial Issue on Ontologies and Large Language Models (extended submission deadline: April 19, 2024)

Applied Ontology

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Ontological Analysis and Conceptual Modeling

Impact Factor


18, 4 issues

Latest issue

19:1 online 12 April 2024

Next issue

19:2 scheduled for July 2024

Back volumes

From volume 1, 2005

ISSN print


ISSN online


Aims & Scope

Applied Ontology is affiliated with the International Association for Ontology and its Applications (IAOA).

In recent years, the dramatic growth of information and communication technologies has led to an increasingly interdisciplinary approach to research and development activities in these fields. To exploit the immense opportunities of widespread networks effectively, designers of modern information systems need to combine the precision of formal semantics with the needs of cognitive transparency, as they incorporate increasingly sophisticated and heterogeneous information content. The recent explosion of interest on ontologies is an important component of this trend. Researchers in disciplines such as knowledge engineering, information systems modeling, artificial intelligence, formal and computational linguistics, information retrieval, library science, and knowledge management have come to realize that a solid foundation for their research calls for serious work in ontology, understood as a general theory of the types of entities and relations that make up their respective domains of inquiry. In all these areas, attention has started to focus squarely on the content of information, rather than on just the formats and languages used to represent that content.

Applied Ontology focuses on information content in its broadest sense. As the subtitle makes clear, two broad kinds of content-based research activities are envisioned: ontological analysis and conceptual modeling. The former includes any attempt to investigate the nature and structure of a domain of interest using rigorous philosophical or logical tools; the latter concerns the cognitive and linguistic structures we use to model the world, as well as the various analysis tools and methodologies we adopt for producing useful computational models, such as information systems schemes or knowledge structures. Applied Ontology is the first journal with explicit and exclusive focus on ontological analysis and conceptual modeling under an interdisciplinary view. It aims to establish a unique niche in the realm of scientific journals by carefully avoiding unnecessary duplication with discipline-oriented journals. For this reason, authors will be encouraged to use language that will be intelligible also to those outside their specific sector of expertise, and the review process will be tailored to this end. For example, authors of theoretical contributions will be encouraged to show the relevance of their theory for applications, while authors of more technological papers will be encouraged to show the relevance of a well-founded theoretical perspective. Moreover, the journal will publish papers focusing on representation languages or algorithms only where these address relevant content issues, whether at the level of practical application or of theoretical understanding. Similarly, it will publish descriptions of tools or implemented systems only where a contribution to the practice of ontological analysis and conceptual modeling is clearly established.

Applied Ontology aims at being a major publication forum for theoretical and applied research in a variety of topics, tentatively grouped together in research areas, examples of which are indicated in the list below.

  • Foundational issues • Philosophical foundations of ontology • Basic ontological categories and relations • Ontology, epistemology, and semiotics
  • Specialized ontologies • Ontology of time, events and processes • Ontology of space and geography • Ontology of physics and physical objects • Ontology of biomedicine • Ontology of mental entities • Ontology of agents and actions • Ontology of organizations and social reality • Ontology of the information society • Ontology of business and e-commerce • Ontology of law • Ontology of history, culture and evolution
  • Ontology development and ontology-driven conceptual modeling • Methodologies for ontology development • Impact of ontological analysis on current modeling practices • Best-practice examples and case studies
  • Ontology management • Tools for ontology development, analysis and comparison • Comparison and evaluation of ontologies • Ontology management, maintenance, versioning • Methodologies for ontology merging, alignment, and integration • Semantic Web
  • Ontology and language • Ontology and natural-language semantics • Ontology and lexical resources • Ontology and terminology • Ontology learning techniques and their evaluation • Role of ontology in natural-language systems
  • Ontology, cognition, perception • Conceptual schemas, perceptual invariances and ontological categorization • Psychological experiments evaluating the cognitive adequacy of ontological categories
  • Ontology and content standards • Library science • Knowledge organization • Museums and cultural repositories • Multimedia content • Product descriptions • Process and service descriptions • Biomedical and other scientific terminologies
  • Innovative ontology-based applications

Editorial Board


John Bateman
Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Sciences
Bremen University, Bremen, Germany

Janna Hastings
Medical Knowledge and Decision Support
Institute for Implementation Science in Health Care
Faculty of Medicine, University of Zurich
and School of Medicine, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

Founding Editors

Nicola Guarino
National Research Council Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technologies
(ISTC-CNR), Italy

Mark A. Musen
Stanford University

Associate Editors

Philipp Cimiano
University of Bielefeld, Germany

Giancarlo Guizzardi
University of Bolzano

Robert Hoehndorf
Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

Leo Obrst
The MITRE Corporation

Barry Smith
State University of New York at Buffalo

Michael F. Uschold
Reinvent Technology

Laure Vieu
Toulouse, France

Editorial Board

Mara Abel
Institute of Informatics
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Porto Alegre, Brazil

João Paulo Almeida
Federal University of Espírito Santo

Mauricio Almeida
Federal University of Minas Gerais
Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Nathalie Aussenac-Gilles
Université Paul Sabatier
Toulouse, France

Adrien Barton
Toulouse, France

Brandon Bennett
University of Leeds
United Kingdom

John Beverley
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY, USA

Thomas Bittner
State University of New York at Buffalo

Alex Borgida
Rutgers University

Stefano Borgo
Trento, Italy

Mathias Brochhausen
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Little Rock, AR, USA

Boyan Brodaric
Natural Resources Canada
Ontario, Canada

Vinay Chaudhri
SRI International

Christiane Fellbaum
Princeton University

Roberta Ferrario
Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technologies, National Research Council
Trento, Italy

Aldo Gangemi
Rome, Italy

Pawel Garbacz
The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

Yolanda Gil
University of Southern California
Marina del Rey, USA

Dagmar Gromann
University of Vienna
Vienna, Austria

Michael Gruninger
University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada

Torsten Hahmann
University of Maine

Yongqun (Oliver) He
CCMB Affiliate Faculty, University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Maria Hedblom
Jönköping University

Heinrich Herre
University of Leipzig

Pascal Hitzler
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS, USA

Krzysztof Janowicz
University of California
Santa Barbara, USA

Ludger Jansen
Ruhr University of Bochum and University of Rostock

Paul Johannesson
Stockholm University

Gilles Kassel
MIS Laboratory, Jules Verne University of Picardie
Amiens, France

Megan Katsumi
University of Toronto

Maria Keet
University of Cape Town
South Africa

Werner Kuhn
University of California
Santa Barbara, USA

Oliver Kutz
Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Claudio Masolo
Trento, Italy

William E. McCarthy
Michigan State University

Riichiro Mizoguchi
Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Alessandro Mosca
Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Fabian Neuhaus
University of Magdeburg

Neil Otte
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MA, USA

Chris Partridge
BORO Solutions
London, United Kingdom

Maria Teresa Pazienza
University of Rome Tor Vergata

Daniele Porello
Trento, Italy

Robert Porzel
University of Bremen
Bremen, Germany

Daniele Radicioni
University of Torino

Emilio Sanfilippo
Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technologies (ISTC)
National Research Council (CNR)

Daniele Francesco Santamaria
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
University of Catania
Catania, Italy

Marco Schorlemmer
Artificial Intelligence Research Institute, IIIA-CSIC
Catalonia, Spain

Selja Seppälä
University College Cork

Amit P. Sheth
Wright State University
Dayton, USA

Elena Simperl
University of Southampton
United Kingdom

Veda Storey
Georgia State University
Atlanta, USA

Walter Terkaj
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Istituto di Sistemi e Tecnologie Industriali Intelligenti per il Manifatturiero Avanzato (STIIMA)
Milan, Italy

Nicolas Troquard
Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Hans Weigand
Tilburg University
The Netherlands

Bob Young
Loughborough University
United Kingdom

Assistant Editor

Mihai Pomarlan
Bremen University
Bremen, Germany

Author Guidelines

Article Types

The following four article types are possible: Research Article, Review Article, Perspective Article and Brief Ontology Report.

Research articles report primary research findings at a depth and detail sufficient for a substantial journal article. They tackle topics of central interest to the applied ontology community and are driven by research questions which they address with methodological rigor. There is no fixed page length restriction, but research articles are typically between 20-25 pages in the journal's template.

Review articles survey the current and recent research on a given question or topic and synthesise the findings in an appropriate manner in order to answer a question or to bring the state of knowledge forward in this area. They offer a balanced view on the state of the field for a given research question or topic, and state clearly the methods used to ensure that the review is free of bias. There is no fixed page length restriction, but review articles are typically between 15 and 20 pages in the journal's template.

Perspective articles also survey and review the literature on a given topic, but they may take a more one-sided view of the topic than review articles and allow more room for individual outlooks. They need nevertheless to offer a well-formulated and well-argued perspective on a topic of key relevance to the applied ontology community, substantially justified in terms of existing research and anchored in sound methodology. They may offer concrete recommendations or guidance that they suggest could significantly advance the field of applied ontology, or address pressing topical concerns. There is no fixed page length restriction, but perspective articles are typically around 20 pages in the journal's template.

Brief ontology reports are articles that describe ontologies where the main focus of the contribution is not a substantive research question, but rather a resource which is being made available for the community. As a precondition for consideration, the ontology should be publicly available and shared with a permissive license for re-use. The ontology should be formally correct and well-formed in OWL or in another ontology language, and good supporting documentation and metadata should be available online. The brief report should include a strong motivation for the use case, a descriptive evaluation of how the ontology is suitable for this use case, and evidence of how the ontology adds value over the state of the art. Brief reports are encouraged to be maximally succinct - and never longer than 10 pages in the journal template. Graphics and diagrams should be of a high quality and closely supportive of the points the report wishes to make, never merely 'illustrative'. These reports are therefore analogous to the Software or Resource reports that have been introduced in other journals for e.g. in bioinformatics or other scientific disciplines.

Submission of Manuscripts

All correspondence concerning editorial matters as well as information regarding submissions should be sent to the Assistant Editor:
Mihai Pomarlan
Faculty of Linguistics
University of Bremen
Bibliothek Strasse 1
28259 Bremen
Tel.: +49 17627951142
Email: pomarlan at

Authors are requested to submit their manuscript electronically through the journal’s editorial management system accessible by this website ("Submit Manuscript").
The initial submission manuscript should be uploaded as one .pdf file with tables and figures included within the text near the position they are referred to.

Required files (after the acceptance of the paper)
After the article has been accepted, the following electronic files are required:
a word processor file of the text, preferably using LateX, although a Word template is also available. When using LaTeX please use our LaTeX template and also send a pdf version of the LaTeX file and separate files of all figures (if any); see "Preparation of manuscripts" for the required file formats. If using Word, make sure to use our Word template. All submissions must conform to the required format as closely as possible regardless of word processing tools adopted.

Colour figures
It is possible to have figures printed in colour, provided the cost of their reproduction is paid for by the author. See Preparation of Manuscripts for the required file formats.

Open Access option
The IOS Press Open Library® offers authors an Open Access (OA) option. By selecting the OA option, the article will be freely available from the moment it is published, also in the pre-press module. In the Open Library® the article processing charges are paid in the form of an Open Access Fee. Authors will receive an Open Access Order Form upon acceptance of their article. Open Access is entirely optional.
See also our website for more information about this option
IOS Press Open Library®


The corresponding author of an accepted article will receive the PDF proof within 2-3 weeks' time and is asked to check this proof carefully (the publisher will execute a cursory check only). Please be sure to return your corrections as quickly as possible to ensure a timely publication date. Corrections other than typesetter's errors should be avoided, so please make sure when you submit your final revised paper to the editorial office that it is proofread and final. Costs arising from excessive corrections will be charged to the authors. Once the author’s corrections or approval to the proof are received, the article is updated and directly published in final form into the journal’s running volume. After final publication corrections will no longer be able to be made. If a significant error is discovered after publication, the only option is to publish a separate Erratum, the production of which must first be evaluated by the publisher (


Organization of the paper and style of presentation
Manuscripts must be written in English and spelling must be consistent (British, American, etc) throughout the manuscript. Authors whose native language is not English are recommended to seek the advice of a competent technical writer in English whenever possible, before submitting their manuscripts.

International Science Editing offers a language and copyediting service to all scientists who want to publish their manuscript in scientific peer-reviewed periodicals and books.

Every page of the manuscript, including the title page, references, tables, etc., should be numbered. However, in the text no reference should be made to page numbers; if necessary, one may refer to sections with appropriate cross-references (commands in LaTeX: \label{name} … \ref{name}). Try to avoid the excessive use of italics and bold face.

Manuscripts should be organized in the following order:
- Title page
- Body of text (divided by subheadings)
- Acknowledgements
- References
- Tables
- Figure captions
- Figures

Headings, subheadings, cross-references, and bibliography citations should also follow the journal stylesheet as given in the respective LaTeX and Word templates. 

SI units should be used, i.e., the units based on the metre, kilogramme, second, etc.

Title page
The title page should provide the following information:
- Title (should be clear, descriptive and not too long)
- Name(s) of author(s); please indicate who is the corresponding author
- Full affiliation(s)
- Present address of author(s), if different from affiliation
- Complete address of corresponding author, including tel. no., fax no. and e-mail address
- Abstract; should be clear, descriptive, self-explanatory and not longer than 200 words, it should also be suitable for publication in abstracting services
- Keywords.

Number using the LaTeX or Word template with appropriate cross-references (commands in LaTeX: \label{name} … \ref{name}).  
All tables should be contained within the manuscript itself, and embedded in the text.
Each table should have a brief and self-explanatory title.
Column headings should be brief, but sufficiently explanatory. Standard abbreviations of units of measurement should be added between parentheses.
Vertical lines should not be used to separate columns. Leave some extra space between the columns instead.
Any explanations essential to the understanding of the table should be given in footnotes at the bottom of the table.

Number figures using the LaTeX or Word template  and refer to all of them in the text (commands in LaTeX: \label{name} … \ref{name}).
Colour figures can be included, provided the cost of their reproduction is paid for by the author.
For the file formats of the figures please take the following into account:
- line art should be have a minimum resolution of 600 dpi, save as EPS or TIFF
- grayscales (incl photos) should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi (no lettering), or 500 dpi (when there is lettering); save as tiff
- do not save figures as JPEG, this format may lose information in the process
- do not use figures taken from the Internet, the resolution will be too low for printing
- do not use colour in your figures if they are to be printed in black & white, as this will reduce the print quality (note that in software often the default is colour, you should change the settings)
- for figures that should be printed in colour, please send a CMYK encoded EPS or TIFF

Figures should be designed with the format of the page of the journal in mind. They should be of such a size as to allow a reduction of 50%.
On maps and other figures where a scale is needed, use bar scales rather than numerical ones, i.e., do not use scales of the type 1:10,000. This avoids problems if the figures need to be reduced.
Each figure should have a self-explanatory caption and correctly specified following the LaTeX or Word templates.
Photographs are only acceptable if they have good contrast and intensity.

Authors are requested to use the APA (American Psychological Association) citation style. APA in-text citations should include the author's last name followed by the year of publication. There are are two possibilities for in-text citations, as in the following examples:

-Name (year), as in: "Author(2017) claims that..." (command in latex: \cite{name});

-(Name, year), as in "Such a theory has been proposed before (Author, 2017)" (command in latex: \citep{name}).

We encourage authors to use the former format whenever appropriate to make it more explicit what it is that references are referring to.

All publications cited in the text should be presented in an alphabetical list of references at the end of the manuscript. Submitted articles can be listed as (author(s), unpublished data). See the website for more information. Authors are responsible for checking the accuracy of all references. Manuscripts will not be considered if they do not conform to the APA citation guidelines.

References must be listed alphabetically in APA style:

Anderson, A. K. (2005). Affective influences on the attentional dynamics supporting awareness. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 154, 258–281.

Anderson, A. K., Christoff, K., Panitz, D., De Rosa, E., & Gabrieli, J. D. E. (2003). Neural correlates of the automatic processing of threat facial signals.Journal of Neuroscience, 23, 5627–5633.

Armony, J. L., & Dolan, R. J. (2002). Modulation of spatial attention by fear-conditioned stimuli: An event-related fMRI study. Neuropsychologia, 40, 817–826.

Beck, A. T., Epstein, N., Brown, G., & Steer, R. A. (1988). An inventory for measuring clinical anxiety: Psychometric properties.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56,893–897.

Calvo, M. G., & Lang, P. J. (2004). Gaze patterns when looking at emotional pictures: Motivationally biased attention.Motivation and Emotion, 28, 221–243.

Carretie, L., Hinojosa, J. A., Martin-Loeches, M., Mecado, F., & Tapia, M. (2004). Automatic attention to emotional stimuli: Neural correlates.Human Brain Mapping, 22, 290–299.


Copyright of your article
Authors submitting a manuscript do so on the understanding that they have read and agreed to the terms of the IOS Press Author Copyright Agreement.

Quoting from other publications
An author, when quoting from someone else's work or when considering reproducing figures or table from a book or journal article, should make sure that he is not infringing a copyright. Although in general an author may quote from other published works, he should obtain permission from the holder of the copyright if he wishes to make substantial extracts or to reproduce tables, plates or other figures. If the copyright holder is not the author of the quoted or reproduced material, it is recommended that the permission of the author should also be sought. Material in unpublished letters and manuscripts is also protected and must not be published unless permission has been obtained. Submission of a paper will be interpreted as a statement that the author has obtained all the necessary permission. A suitable acknowledgement of any borrowed material must always be made.


How to order reprints, a PDF file, journals, or IOS Press books
The corresponding author of a contribution to the journal will receive a complimentary PDF Author’s Copy of the article, unless otherwise stated. This PDF copy is watermarked and for personal use only. A free PDF copy will not be provided for conference proceedings and abstract issues. An order form for a PDF file without watermark, reprints or additional journal copies will be provided along with the PDF proof.

If you wish to order reprints of an earlier published article, please contact the publisher for a quotation. IOS Press, Fax: +31 20 687 0019. Email:

An author is entitled to 25 % discount on IOS Press books. See Author's discount (25%) on all IOS Press book publications.

Please visit the IOS Press Authors page for further information

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Web of Science: Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch®)

Open access

By default, articles published in Applied Ontology are available only to institutions and individuals with access rights. However, the journal offers all authors the option to purchase open access publication for their article as part of the IOS Press Open Library. This means that the final published version will be freely available to anyone worldwide, indefinitely, under a Creative Commons license and without the need to purchase access to the article. This is also referred to as “gold” open access.

Gold open access pricing
Authors who choose gold open access publication will be subject to an article publication charge of € 1500 / US$ 1500 for publication under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license or € 2150 / US$ 2150 for publication under the CC BY 4.0 license. Pricing is exclusive of possible taxes. After an article is accepted for publication, the corresponding author will be informed regarding the open access option during the production stages, and will have the opportunity to purchase open access for their article. It could be that the open access fee of an article is waived completely due an institutional agreement IOS Press has with the corresponding authors' institution. Please check the institutional agreements page for details.

Green open access
Authors who do not make use of the gold open access option may still make their article freely available using self-archiving, also referred to as green open access. Authors may make their final accepted manuscript available for free download from their personal or institutional website or institutional archive. This model is free for the author.

FOIS 2014 journal-first announcement

The FOIS 2024 conference journal-first track provides a forum to discuss recent published research on topics related to formal ontology for broader dissemination within the FOIS community. The track invites submissions of extended abstracts of papers that have appeared or have been accepted for publication in journals, but have not been previously presented at FOIS or any other applied ontology-focused conference, including ICBO, ISWC, ESWC, K-CAP, and all JOWO workshops. For further submission information, see:

Track chairs:
     Adrien Barton - Institut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse (IRIT), CNRS
     Emilio M. Sanfilippo - Laboratory for Applied Ontology ISTC-CNR

Calls for Papers

Special Issue on Ontologies and Large Language Models (extended submission deadline: April 19, 2024)


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