Applied Ontology

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Ontological Analysis and Conceptual Modeling

Impact Factor


18, 4 issues

Latest issue

18:1 online 25 April 2023

Next issue

18:2 scheduled for July 2023

Back volumes

From volume 1, 2005

ISSN print


ISSN online


Aims & Scope

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

João Paulo Almeida
Federal University of Espírito Santo

Nathalie Aussenac-Gilles
Université Paul Sabatier
Toulouse, France

Adrien Barton
Toulouse, France

Brandon Bennett
University of Leeds
United Kingdom

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 Wien

Michael Gruninger
University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada

Torsten Hahmann
University of Maine

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

Doug B. Lenat
Austin, USA

Claudio Masolo
Trento, Italy

William E. McCarthy
Michigan State University

Riichiro Mizoguchi
Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Fabian Neuhaus
University of Magdeburg

Chris Partridge
BORO Solutions
London, United Kingdom

Maria Teresa Pazienza
University of Rome Tor Vergata

Daniele Porello
Trento, Italy

Florian Probst
SAP Research
Darmstadt, Germany

Daniele Radicioni
University of Torino

Emilio Sanfilippo
University of Tours

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

Hans Weigand
Tilburg University
The Netherlands

Bob Young
Loughborough University
United Kingdom

Assistant Editor

Mihai Pomarlan
Bremen University
Bremen, Germany

Author Guidelines

Instructions to authors
For detailed instructions please refer to the Applied Ontology page on the IOS Press website:

Submission of manuscripts

By submitting my article to this journal, I agree to the Author Copyright Agreement, the IOS Press Ethics Policy, and the IOS Press Privacy Policy.

Authors are requested to submit their manuscript electronically through the journal’s editorial management system at: Correspondence concerning editorial matters as well as information regarding submissions should be sent to the assistant editor, Mihai Pomarlan. Email: pomarlan [@] uni-bremen [dot] de

Note that the manuscript should be uploaded as one .pdf file with tables and figures included.


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.

Article sharing
Authors of journal articles are permitted to self-archive and share their work through institutional repositories, personal websites, and preprint servers. Authors have the right to use excerpts of their article in other works written by the authors themselves, provided that the original work is properly cited. The consent for sharing an article, in whole or in part, depends on the version of the article that is shared, where it is shared, and the copyright license under which the article is published. Please refer to the IOS Press Article Sharing Policy for further information.

Quoting from other publications
Authors, when quoting from someone else's work or when considering reproducing figures or tables from a book or journal article, should make sure that they are not infringing a copyright. Although in general authors may quote from other published works, permission should be obtained from the holder of the copyright if there will be substantial extracts or reproduction of 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.

Please visit the IOS Press Authors page for further information.

Abstracted/Indexed in

Academic Search
ACM Digital Library
DBLP Bibliography Server
Microsoft Academic Search
SciVerse Scopus
Ulrich's Periodicals Directory
Web of Science: Current Contents®/Engineering, Computing, and Technology
Web of Science: Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition
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.


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

Newsletter: Be sure to sign up to the AO newsletter to receive alerts of new issues and other journal news. Sign up via this link:

Latest Newsletter: You can view the latest newsletter here

Latest Articles

Discover the contents of the latest journal issue:

Food identity and the passage of time
Nicola Piras, Andrea Borghini

Foundational patterns benchmark
Petr Křemen, Jana Ahmad

Ontology development is consensus creation, not (merely) representation
Janna Hastings, Fabian Neuhaus

Sustainable Development Goals

The content of this journal relates to SDG:

sdg symbolsdg symbolsdg symbol

Visit the SDG page for more information.

Supporting Diversity and Inclusion

This journal supports IOS Press' actions relating to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and commits to the Diversity and Inclusion Statement.

dark blue banner for AO author geo data for SDGs

More information will be available in due course. Check the SDGs page for updates.