Dr Selja Seppälä

Selja Seppälä


Business Information Systems
13 South Mall Cork
Cork University Business School
Cork University Business School

[email protected] ResearchGate Profile LinkedIn profile Twitter ORCID profile https://seljaseppala.wordpress.com/


I am a lecturer in the Department of Business Information Systems, Cork University Business School, University College Cork (UCC), Ireland.

Previously, I worked in the Department as a Marie Curie Career-FIT Research Fellow investigating natural language processing (NLP) methods to develop a computer-assisted definition authoring and formalisation system for legal experts (RegDef). Before that, I conducted postdoctoral research in the areas of NLP for regulatory technologies in the financial industry at the Governance, Risk and Compliance Technology Centre (GRCTC) at UCC (2017-2019), and of applied ontology and biomedical informatics in the Department of Health Outcomes and Policy at the University of Florida (2016-2017) and the Departments of Philosophy and Biomedical Informatics at the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) (2012-1016), where my research was funded from 2012 to 2015 by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

My interdisciplinary research aims at:

  • developing NLP resources (e.g., annotated datasets, methods and models) leveraging knowledge representation artefacts, such as ontologies, to advance the automated processing of domain-specific texts, especially legal documents, to enhance organisations’ information systems and assist organisations in areas such as regulatory compliance in the financial sector;
  • laying the groundwork for developing computer-assisted natural language definition writing tools leveraging ontological data. Such tools are intended to be used by terminologists and ontologists, as well as domain experts such as scientists and lawyers. This work focuses on the automation of definition production, editing, and checking in dictionaries, legal documents, technical manuals, and ontologies.

My work includes research on ontology mapping and versioning, mapping of lexico-semantic resources to ontologies, as well as the use of corpus linguistics and NLP techniques and methods to process data. My primary domains of expertise are NLP, terminology, and applied ontology.


  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Finnish
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Grants and Honours

  • 01/02/2019 - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Career-FIT Fellowship, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and Enterprise Ireland
  • 01/09/2014 - Advanced Postdoc.Mobility Fellowship, Swiss National Science Foundation
  • 01/09/2013 - Advanced Postdoc.Mobility Fellowship, Swiss National Science Foundation
  • 01/09/2012 - Fellowship for Prospective Researchers, Swiss National Science Foundation
  • 01/09/2007 - Fellowship for Prospective Researchers, Swiss National Science Foundation
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Pedagogic Experiences

  • 2022 - Foundations of Programming for Information Systems 2, University College Cork, BSc (Hons) Business Information Systems
  • 2022 - Foundations of Programming for Information Systems 1, University College Cork, BSc (Hons) Business Information Systems
  • 2022 - Business Data Visualisation, University College Cork, MSc Business Information and Analytics Systems
  • 2022 - Programming for Data and Business Analytics, University College Cork, MSc Business Information and Analytics Systems
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Research Domains

  • Analysis of Texts  
  • Artificial intelligence  
  • Compliance knowledge management systems
  • Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC) Systems for Financial Services
  • Information Extraction  
  • Information processing  
  • Information Retrieval  
  • knowledge modeling  
  • Smart Regulation (based on Semantic Technologies)
  • Unstructured text processing  
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Journal article

Year Publication
2021 BUTLER, T., ESPINOZA LIMON, A., SEPPÄLÄ, S. (2021). Towards a capability assessment model for the comprehension and adoption of AI in organisations. Journal of AI, Robotics & Workplace Automation, 1 (1), 18-33.
2022 BACLAWSKI, K., BENNETT, M., BERG-CROSS, G., DICKERSON, L., SCHNEIDER, T., SEPPÄLÄ, S., ... WESTERINEN, A. (2022). Ontology Summit 2021 Communiqué: Ontology generation and harmonization. Applied Ontology, 17 (2), 233-248. doi:10.3233/AO-210266. Details
2017 SEPPÄLÄ, S., RUTTENBERG, A., SMITH, B. (2017). Guidelines for writing definitions in ontologies,Diretrizes para criação de definições em ontologias,Directrices para creación de definiciones en ontologías. Ciencia da Informacao, 46 (1), 73-88. doi:10.18225/ci.inf.v46i1.4015. Details
2016 SEPPÄLÄ, S., RUTTENBERG, A., SCHREIBER, Y., SMITH, B. (2016). Definitions in Ontologies. Cahiers de Lexicologie, 109, 173-205.
2014 SEPPÄLÄ, S., SMITH, B., CEUSTERS, W. (2014). Applying the realism-based ontology-versioning method for tracking changes in the basic formal ontology. Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications, 267, pp. 227 - 240. Details
2011 MACHERY, E., SEPPÄLÄ, S. (2011). Against Hybrid Theories of Concepts. Anthropology & Philosophy, 10, 99-127.
2015 SEPPÄLÄ, S. (2015). An ontological framework for modeling the contents of definitions. Terminology, 21 (1), 23-50. doi:10.1075/term.21.1.02sep. Details

Book review

Year Publication
2013 SEPPÄLÄ, S. (2013). Book review of "Sylviane Granger and Magali Paquot (eds.). 2012. Electronic Lexicography". Terminology. Details


Year Publication
2012 SEPPÄLÄ, S. (2012). Contraintes sur la sélection des informations dans les définitions terminographiques : vers des modèles relationnels génériques pertinents. Université de Genève. Details


Year Publication
2005 SEPPÄLÄ, S. (2005). Structure des définitions terminographiques : une étude préliminaire. Actes de la conférence Terminologie et Intelligence Artificielle, TIA'05.
2013 SEPPÄLÄ, S., RUTTENBERG, A. (2013). Preface. CEUR-WS.
2014 SEPPÄLÄ, S., SCHREIBER, Y., RUTTENBERG, A., COX, A. P., RAY, P., JENSEN, M., ... CEUSTERS, W. (2014). Preface. CEUR-WS.
2014 SEPPÄLÄ, S. (2014). Joint Proceedings of The First International Workshop on Drug Interaction Knowledge Representation (DIKR 2014), The Second International Workshop on Definitions in Ontologies (IWOOD 2014), and The Starting an OBI-based Biobank Ontology Workshop (OBIB 2014) co-located with 5th International Conference on Biomedical Ontologies (ICBO2014). CEUR-WS.
2018 HICKS, A., HOGAN, W., PEPINE, C., BOIRE, N., HERRING, C., SEPPÄLÄ, S. (2018). Introducing hypertension facts: Vital sign ontology annotations in the Florida annotated corpus for translational science. Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
2016 SCHLEGEL, D. R., ELKIN, P. L., SEPPÄLÄ, S. (2016). Definition coverage in the OBO foundry ontologies: The big picture. CEUR-WS.
2016 BONA, J., SEPPÄLÄ, S., CEUSTERS, W. (2016). Analysis of SNOMED 'bleeding' concepts & terms. CEUR-WS.
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