National Academies Release New Report on Ontologies in the Behavioral Sciences

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has released a new consensus study report titled Ontologies in the Behavioral Sciences: Accelerating Research and the Spread of Knowledge. The report offers a description of ontologies, or frameworks for organizing existing knowledge, and ways they can be used to support behavioral science. In addition, the report offers several recommendations for science stakeholders to best use ontologies to advance behavioral science research, including federal agencies and professional organizations. Some of these recommendations include:

  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) should create agendas for advancing behavioral science ontologies while drawing on ideas generated from other scientific domains and the international scientific community.
  • NIH, NSF, and other science agencies should fund opportunities to support the development of behavioral science ontologies.
  • The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) should develop a report on how a shared concept for behavioral science can be implemented across federal science agencies using ontologies developed by other agencies.
  • Organizations such as COSSA, the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (FABBS) and similar organizations should coordinate ontology development across academic and professional organizations.
  • Organizations with publications, such as the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association for Psychological Science (APS), should standardize vocabularies and reporting standards for their behavioral science journals.
  • Professional organizations should make strategies to integrate ontology development into graduate-level teaching when possible.

The full report can be found on the National Academies’ website.


Past Newsletters



Browse 40 years of the COSSA Washington Update.