EXACT2: the semantics of biomedical protocols.

Soldatova, Larisa N; Nadis, Daniel; King, Ross D; Basu, Piyali S; Haddi, Emma; Baumlé, Véronique; Saunders, Nigel J; Marwan, Wolfgang and Rudkin, Brian B. 2014. EXACT2: the semantics of biomedical protocols. BMC bioinformatics, 15 Sup, S5. ISSN 1471-2105 [Article]

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Abstract or Description


The reliability and reproducibility of experimental procedures is a cornerstone of scientific practice. There is a pressing technological need for the better representation of biomedical protocols to enable other agents (human or machine) to better reproduce results. A framework that ensures that all information required for the replication of experimental protocols is essential to achieve reproducibility. To construct EXACT2 we manually inspected hundreds of published and commercial biomedical protocols from several areas of biomedicine. After establishing a clear pattern for extracting the required information we utilized text-mining tools to translate the protocols into a machine amenable format. We have verified the utility of EXACT2 through the successful processing of previously 'unseen' (not used for the construction of EXACT2)protocols.


We have developed the ontology EXACT2 (EXperimental ACTions) that is designed to capture the full semantics of biomedical protocols required for their reproducibility.


The paper reports on a fundamentally new version EXACT2 that supports the semantically-defined representation of biomedical protocols. The ability of EXACT2 to capture the semantics of biomedical procedures was verified through a text mining use case. In this EXACT2 is used as a reference model for text mining tools to identify terms pertinent to experimental actions, and their properties, in biomedical protocols expressed in natural language. An EXACT2-based framework for the translation of biomedical protocols to a machine amenable format is proposed.


The EXACT2 ontology is sufficient to record, in a machine processable form, the essential information about biomedical protocols. EXACT2 defines explicit semantics of experimental actions, and can be used by various computer applications. It can serve as a reference model for for the translation of biomedical protocols in natural language into a semantically-defined format.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):



Biomedical Ontology, Name Entity, Basic Formal Ontology, Text Mining Tool, Merge Ontology

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27 November 2014Published

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Date Deposited:

02 Jul 2018 13:09

Last Modified:

03 Aug 2021 15:05

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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