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Annotation ( Latin annotatio ) means "note", "addition", "addition". In this sense, annotations for keywords , explanations of terms or detailed texts have the character of explanations or supplements.

Annotations record things that are not considered essential for the main keyword or the main text , but represent important additional information. They are at least worth it to be explicitly recorded, and in this way the designated contents get a place in the order of the whole without disturbing the structure or breaking the meaning of the statement.


In linguistics , annotations are descriptive or analytical comments that are related to "raw language" data material.

For example, if one looks at the sentence “The child is playing in the garden”, an annotation would read as follows: “The (annotation: certain article, neuter, singular, nominative) child (annotation: noun, neuter, singular, nominative) plays (Annotation: finite verb, present tense, 3rd person singular, indicative, basic form play) in (annotation: preposition) the (annotation: definite article, masculine, singular, dative) garden (annotation: noun, masculine, singular, dative). "

Computer science


Annotations are used in software development to incorporate metadata into the source code of a program. These have no direct effect on the translation of the source text, but offer additional options compared to simple comments .

Semantic annotations

The semantic web requires semantic annotations, e.g. B. by means of RDF , in websites . In this way, content that is otherwise only understood by humans can also be made interpretable for machines. An analogous procedure applies to the vision of the semantic grid , where grid services are semantically annotated, e.g. B. with the OWL-S ontology . Symbols and formulas can also be annotated, which can be accelerated by annotation recommendation services.


In genetics and bioinformatics , annotation refers to a functional assignment that can come from experimental findings as well as from computer-aided prediction. The annotation of a DNA sequence describes u. a. the exact location of exons and introns , protein-coding regions including the encoded protein , promoter elements , repetitive DNA elements in this sequence.

The large sequence databases contain an annotation in each entry in addition to the pure sequence information. Their size can exceed that of the annotated sequence many times over.


In libraries, an annotation describes a short, factual summary of the content of a work. Another term for annotation is “subtitle” in the specialist library language. Annotations are helpful for the user in library catalogs in order to assess the relevance of the individual hits in a search.

See also


  • Christian Hentschel, Sebastian Stober, Andreas Nürnberger, Marcin Detyniecki: Automatic Image Annotation Using a Visual Dictionary Based on Reliable Image Segmentation . In: N. Boujemaa, M. Detyniecki, A. Nürnberger (Eds.): Lecture Notes in Computer Science . No. 4918 . Springer-Verlag, 2008, p. 45–56 (English, ( Memento from October 6, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) [PDF; 1,3 MB ; accessed October 24, 2019] AMR 2007).

Web links

  • Steven Bird: Linguistic Annotation. (No longer available online.) In: December 5, 2001, archived from the original on September 7, 2013 .;

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Moritz Schubotz, Philipp Scharpf a. a .: Introducing MathQA: a Math-Aware question answering system . In: Emerald Publishing Limited (Ed.): Information Discovery and Delivery . September 12, 2018. doi : 10.1108 / IDD-06-2018-0022 .
  2. AnnoMathTex. In: Retrieved October 24, 2019 .
  3. Philipp Scharpf, Ian Mackerracher a. a .: AnnoMathTeX: a formula identifier annotation recommender system for STEM documents . In: Proceedings of the 13th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys 2019) . September 17, 2019. doi : 10.1145 / 3298689.3347042 .