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[bioontology-support] BioPortal sparql

Nikolina Koleva nikolina.koleva19 at
Fri Dec 14 06:29:28 PST 2012

Dear all,

I have a question about the BioPortal sparql.  
For a list of hits found in the BioPortal by searching for the term "material entity", I try to get the parent concept and ask for its label (optionally). 
I am running the following query in a loop as long as I get a parent and in each iteration I set the parent to the value of the term:

PREFIX rdfs: <>
    GRAPH <> {
        <> rdfs:subClassOf ?parent.
            OPTIONAL {?parent rdfs:label ?label}.


1. is the ontology in which I found the term

2. is the full id of the term 

Well, this works and returns results but unfortunately not for every hit I got. I have tested it on 70 of the hits for the term "material entity" and in 27 of the cases I got no results.


I do get results 

no results are retrieved although the id of the term is the same.

When I checked both entries in BioPortal web interface they both have the subClassOf property ...

It would be great if you have any ideas why this happens. 

Best regards,

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