About us

OSDG is an open source initiative that aims to integrate various existing attempts to classify research according to Sustainable Development Goals, and to make this process open, transparent and user-friendly.

We integrate existing research into a comprehensive approach that avoids the shortcomings of previous individual approaches and the duplication of research efforts.

OSDG is a partnership between PPMI, UNDP SDG AI Lab, and a growing community of researchers led by Dr. Nuria Bautista Puig.

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How does it work?

OSDG takes relevant features of the text (such as ontology items, features from machine-learning models or extracted keywords) from previous research, cleans them and merges them into a comprehensive, continuously expanding OSDG ontology.

Items from the ontology are mapped to the ever-growing list of topics/Fields of Study from an extensive ontology with over 2 milion items assembled from various sources, like patents, publications, MeSH Terms and Wikidata items.

In short, OSDG builds an integrated ontology from the feature sets identified in previous research.

By doing this, we:

  • expand the ontology by acquiring more key terms associated with the relevant Topics.
  • capture more nuanced relationships between individual terms and latent concepts.

You can learn more about the methodology in our article “OSDG – Open-Source Approach to Classify Text Data by UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)“, available on arXiv.org.

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OSDG processes user queries in the following steps:

  1. It tags the user query with keywords from an extensive ontology
  2. It cross-references the FOSs assigned to the user query against the OSDG Ontology to determine which SDGs (if any) are relevant to the query
  3. The relevance of an SDG to a query is interpreted as being ‘Strong’ or ‘Moderate’, depending on a specified threshold1.

Head to the Search page to put our methodology to practical use. If you see something that requires improvement or you would like to contact our data team, please submit your enquiry using our contact form.

OSDG takes relevant features of the text (such as ontology items, features from machine-learning models or extracted keywords) from previous research, cleans them and merges them into a comprehensive, continuously expanding OSDG ontology. Items from the ontology are mapped to the ever-growing list of Keywords.

Methodology graphic

References and inspiration

We maintain an up-to-date list of data sources that are used to build the ontology as well as copies of the input datasets, processing scripts and the resulting combined ontology in the project GitHub repository.

The ontology of terms used in the OSDG tool is derived from the following data sources:

  1. SDG Ontology compiled by Dr Nuria B. Puig and E. Mauleon
  2. FP-4-SD Research Project
  3. Linked SGS
  4. SDG Pathfinder
  1. SDGIO Project
  2. Keywords from the documents of the European Commission PPMI (Skrynik & Stanciauskas 2020 forthcoming)
  3. Sinha, A., Shen, Z., Song, Y., Ma, H., Eide, D., Hsu, B.-J. & Wang, K. (2015). An Overview of Microsoft Academic Service (MAS) and Applications. Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on World Wide Web (pp. 243-246), Republic and Canton of Geneva, Switzerland: International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee. ISBN: 978-1-4503-3473-0. doi: 10.1145/2740908.2742839
  4. Wang, K., Shen, Z., Huang, C., Wu, C., Eide, D., Dong, Y., Qian, J., Kanakia, A., Chen, A.C., & Rogahn, R. (2019). A Review of Microsoft Academic Services for Science of Science Studies. Frontiers in Big Data, 2. doi: 10.3389/FDATA.2019.00045
  5. Bautista-Puig, N. & Mauleón, E. (2019). Unveiling the path towards sustainability: is there a research interest on sustainable goals? In the 17th International Conference on Scientometrics & Informetrics (ISSI 2019), Rome (Italy), Volume II, ISBN 978-88-3381-118-5, pp.2770-2771.
  6. Buttigieg, P. L., McGlade, J. & Coppens, L., United Nations Environment Programme (2015). Clarifying terms in the SDGs: representing the meaning behind the terminology, [Miscellaneous]
  7. Sinha, A., Shen, Z., Song, Y., Ma, H., Eide, D., Hsu, B.-J. & Wang, K. (2015). An Overview
OSDG reference

1 The threshold value is SDG-specific and can change between OSDG versions. It is computed by running a pre-selected panel of scientific publications through the OSDG tool and selecting the number that would cut-off the top 30% of the most relevant publications for each SDG. 10.1145/2740908.2742839

Wang, K., Shen, Z., Huang, C., Wu, C., Eide, D., Dong, Y., Qian, J., Kanakia, A., Chen, A.C., & Rogahn, R. (2019). A Review of Microsoft Academic Services for Science of Science Studies. Frontiers in Big Data, 2. doi: 10.3389/FDATA.2019.00045

2 The threshold value is SDG-specific and can change between OSDG versions. It is computed by running a pre-selected panel of scientific publications through the OSDG tool and selecting the number that would cut-off top 30% of the most relevant publications for each SDG.

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