Centre for Behaviour Change


BR-UK webinar: Using ontologies to advance behavioural research

25 June 2024

Catch up with the latest webinar from the BR-UK team, in which they provide insights and share practical tips on using ontologies in behavioural sciences.

Behaviour Research UK webinar on ontologies

Using ontologies to advance behavioural research

Speakers: Dr Harriet BairdProfessor Thomas WebbProfessor Susan MichieProfessor Robert West Dr Janna Hastings and Dr Suvodeep Mazumdar 

The past decade has seen a revolution in the volume and complexity of data created in the behavioural sciences. Ontologies facilitate the accumulation of knowledge by providing a standardised method for specifying concepts within a topic, using a shared language. They precisely specify the properties of these concepts and the relationships between them. By doing this, ontologies can enhance the organisation and retrieval of research evidence and provide a framework for aggregating data both within and across disciplines and topic domains. Because every defined concept and relationship has a unique ID, computer-based technologies and tools in artificial intelligence can be more easily harnessed for behavioural and social research.  Thus, ontologies enable efficient and effective data integration and analysis, evidence synthesis and outcome prediction to provide robust answers to complex societal challenges. In this webinar our speakers described what ontologies are and provided examples of how ontologies are being developed and used to accelerate research in the behavioural sciences. They also demonstrated tools and ways in which we can all leverage the benefits of ontologies in our own work. 

Catch up with the webinar

About the Behavioural Research UK (BR-UK)

BR-UK is a research consortium funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) via the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The consortium serves as a leadership hub that is part of a wider ESRC programme to build national capability for behavioural research. BR-UK has been awarded funding over five years from November 2023 to conduct interdisciplinary behavioural research to contribute to addressing societal challenges. Our CBC Director, Professor Susan Michie, is co-leading this initiative alongside Professor Linda Bauld (The University of Edinburgh).