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Collaboration in science requires a shared model of underlying workflows and concepts. In addition to leveraging information exchange between scientists, the shared model should enable automated invocation of computational (numerical) methods from a conceptual level. In this way, the model fills the gap between humans interpreting textual information and computers processing the underlying data and mathematical models. To this end, the authors propose an ontology of quantitative research (OQR). The OQR is based on established tenets of the philosophy of science. Scientific quantities expressed in OQR can be used directly as input to computational methods. The authors demonstrate the OQR's quality by applying it to a case of quantitative food research. Finally, they describe an application in Quest, a prototype quantitative e-science tool.
Date of Publication: Jan.-Feb. 2009