VocBench 3: a Collaborative Semantic Web Editor for Ontologies, Thesauri and Lexicons

Tracking #: 2206-3419

Armando Stellato
Manuel Fiorelli
Andrea Turbati
Tiziano Lorenzetti
Willem van Gemert
Denis Dechandon
Christine Laaboudi-Spoiden
Anikó Gerencsér
Anne Waniart
Eugeniu Costetchi
Johannes Keizer

Responsible editor: 
Aidan Hogan

Submission type: 
Tool/System Report
VocBench is an open source web platform for the collaborative development of datasets complying with Semantic Web standards. Since its public release – five years ago – as an open source platform, VocBench has attracted a growing user community consisting of public organizations, companies and independent users looking for open source solutions for maintaining their thesauri, code lists and authority resources. The focus on collaboration, the differentiation of user roles and the workflow management for content validation and publication have been the strengths of the platform, especially for those organizations requiring a distributed, yet centrally controlled, publication environment. In 2017, a new, completely reengineered, version of the system has been released, broadening the scope of the platform: funded by the ISA2 programme of the European Commission, VocBench 3 offers a general-purpose collaborative environment for development of any kind of RDF dataset (with dedicated facilities for ontologies, thesauri and lexicons), improving the editing capabilities of its predecessor, while still maintaining the peculiar aspects that determined its success. In this article, we review the requirements and the new objectives set for version 3, and then introduce the new characteristics that were implemented for this new incarnation of the platform
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Solicited Reviews:
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Review #1
By John McCrae submitted on 05/Jun/2019
Review Comment:

The paper is now in a very good state and while I would still prefer a shorter more focussed paper, I think the paper is good as it is and I have no further specific comments.

Review #2
By Fred Freitas submitted on 16/Jun/2019
Review Comment:

This manuscript was submitted as 'Tools and Systems Report' and should be reviewed along the following dimensions: (1) Quality, importance, and impact of the described tool or system (convincing evidence must be provided). (2) Clarity, illustration, and readability of the describing paper, which shall convey to the reader both the capabilities and the limitations of the tool.

The authors have conducted a rearrangement of the parts recommended by the reviewers – I have checked most of them. They were successful in their job, as the paper looks more readable IMHO.
Most of the punctual requests made by the reviewers were met. The only point that I still miss is a small subsection closing the related work section. It is important for the readers that want to read the section “diagonally” (quickly) to have a flavor of how it compares roughly to other tools´ capabilities. Although not mandatory, a table showing this comparison (i.e., tools x features) is desirable in this scenario, as it facilitates the job even for the authors to organize their arguments.
This solved, this reviewer assesses the article as ready for publication.