One of the key promises of the Semantic Web is its potential to enable and facilitate data interoperability. The ability of data providers and application developers to share and reuse ontologies is a critical component of this data interoperability: if different applications and data sources use the same set of well defined terms for describing their domain and data, it will be much easier for them to "talk" to one another. Ontology libraries are the systems that collect ontologies from different sources and facilitate the tasks of finding, exploring, and using these ontologies. Thus ontology libraries can serve as a link in enabling diverse users and applications to discover, evaluate, use, and publish ontologies. In this paper, we provide a survey of the growing - and surprisingly diverse - landscape of ontology libraries. We highlight how the varying scope and intended use of the libraries affects their features, content, and potential exploitation in applications. From reviewing 11 ontology libraries, we identify a core set of questions that ontology practitioners and users should consider in choosing an ontology library for finding ontologies or publishing their own. We also discuss the research challenges that emerge from this survey, for the developers of ontology libraries to address. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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