MacMullen, W. John. Contextual Analysis of Variation and Quality in Human-curated Gene Ontology Annotations. 2006 i-Conference Doctoral Colloquium.
[PDF of poster and 2-page dissertation overview]

This work employs a multi-methods approach combining prospective randomized controlled experiments with broad contextual analysis (including observations, concurrent verbal reports, document content analysis, workflow analysis, and interviews) to investigate the nature and extent of variation in human-curated annotations of the scientific literature using the Gene Ontology (GO), a standardized cross-organism controlled vocabulary. Data obtained to date include 4,000 GO annotation instances generated by 33 biological curators, and approximately 20 hours of audio recordings from observations and interviews. The results of this work will inform the development of organization- and organism-independent measures of GO annotation quality.