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Name of Collaboratory :


Concept Web Alliance (CWA)


URL :  

Collaboratory Status :

In Development   Start Date : 2009 End Date : Info Last Updated : Thu, Dec 9 2010 4:01pm PST

Primary Collaboratory Function :

  Open Community Contribution System  

Secondary Collaboratory Functions :

  Community Data Systems  

Domain(s) :

  MATHEMATICS/COMPUTER SCIENCES >Computer Science >Information Science and Systems
BIOLOGICAL/AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES >Biological Sciences >Biological Sciences, General

Brief Description of the Collaboratory :


CWA is an open collaborative community that is actively addressing the challenges associated with the production of unprecedented volumes of academic and professional data. This international effort seeks to organize the massive amounts of information flooding the biological sciences and other scientific disciplines. Challenges include storage, interoperability and analysis of such massive and disparate data sets.

CWA‘s agreed approach is a 'Semantic Web' strategy, meaning that disparate data on the internet are now structurally connected to each other. As the amount of scholarly communication increases, it is increasingly difficult for specific core scientific statements to be found, connected and curated. Additionally, the redundancy of these statements in multiple fora makes it difficult to determine attribution, quality, and provenance. To tackle these challenges, the Concept Web Alliance has promoted the notion of nanopublications (core scientific statements with associated context) in a manner allowing for meaningful Web-wide interconnectivity.

For this interconnectivity, and the necessary interoperability, to occur, the unambiguous and established meaning (the ‘concept’) of terms used in texts and data collections is first uniquely identified. A human validation process then completes the identification where the technology cannot (yet) resolve ambiguities. Next, the ‘assertions’ that can be made with each concept are captured in a simple, computer readable format, including the ability to weigh the validity of each individual assertion. Highly scalable and flexible, the technology will be deployed across academic disciplines, corporate applications and community-building efforts.

The Alliance operates under the ad-hoc leadership of a Founding Board and an Executive Director on behalf of the participants. In 2010 the exact operational and governance structure was to be established by the participants (but no update on this on site).

The CWA’s unique structure is highly evolvable and designed for flexibility. A small common secretariat manages the workflow as defined by participants and client organizations, and ensures equitable distribution of resources. The Alliance, led by a globally respected governing board, is quickly becoming a trusted party for evaluation and certification of data models for semantic triples, setting standards of interoperability, best practices, and is advocating for development of scalable methods of knowledge discovery.

A CWA declaration has been issued and has, so far, been signed by an impressive group of international group of representatives from both the public and private sectors worldwide. CWA actively collaborates with organizations complementing its strategy, such as W3C (World Wide Web consortium Semantic Web initiatives), and has formed a strong global consortium of like-minded partners, effectively reaching over 200 leading institutions.


Access to Instruments :


Access to Information Resources :


Access to People as Resources :

  Anyone with an interest in being a part of one of the working groups can simply email and join.  

Funding Agency or Sponsor :


Notes on Funding Agencies/Sponsors:


Notes on Participants/Organizations:
Netherlands Bio Informatics Center (NBIC) is one of the initiators of CWA. The collabs Large Knowledge Collider and MyGrid also listed as participants.


Communications Technology Used :


Technical Capabilities :

  Key Articles :    

Project-reported performance data :

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