As research on the Semantic Web actively progresses, a more intelligent Web environment is expected in various domains including rule-based systems and intelligent agents. However, rule acquisition is still a bottleneck in the utilization of rule-based systems. To extract rules from Web pages, the framework of eXtensible Rule Markup Language (XRML) has been developed. XRML allows the identification of rules from Web pages and generates rules automatically. However, the knowledge engineer's burden is still high because rule identification requires considerable manual work. In order to reduce the knowledge engineer's burden, we proposed an ontology-based methodology of enhanced rule identification. First, we have designed an ontology OntoRule for automated rule identification. Also, we proposed a procedure of rule identification using OntoRule. Lastly, we showed the performance of our approach with an experiment. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.