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Alignment of CiTO and SWAN Citations ontologies

This page will collect details about the work for aligning the CiTO [1] ontology and the SWAN Ontology [2]. Both ontologies adopt the FRBR Work - Expression - Manifestation data model [3].

Comparison of the two models


After analyzing the scope of the two ontologies target of the integration/alignment process, it became clear that CiTO should be used specifically for literature citations while SWAN should be used for hypothesis and scientific discourse more generally.


We have eliminated clashes and redundancy by replacing the original SWAN Citations module with a revised version of CiTO, and by conforming the SWAN evidence relationships to fit those in CiTO. To achieve this, CiTO v1.6 was itself first modularized, by splitting out from it those terms describing bibliographic entities into a new ontology called FaBiO, the FRBR-aligned Bibliographic Ontology, leaving CiTO containing just those object properties that characterize citations. The new versions of these ontologies, CiTO version 2.0 (http://purl.org/spar/cito/), FaBiO version 1.0 (http://purl.org/spar/fabio/).

Examples will follow.


  • The SWAN biomedical discourse ontology (Ciccarese et al. J Biomed Inform. 2008 Oct;41(5):739-51) - PubMed
  • CiTO, the Citation Typing Ontology. Shotton D (2010) Journal of Biomedical Semantics (in press): Preprint available here.