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[bioontology-support] concept definitions in API?

Ben Leinfelder leinfelder at
Mon Mar 23 12:57:35 PDT 2015

Hi folks,
I'm looking into some unexpected results when querying classes with the BioPortal API. 

Take this class in the D1_CARBON_FLUX ontology:

This query  for "plankton" returns the concept...,definition&q=plankton&apikey=XXXX

…but does not include the "definition" field even when explicitly requested in the query string. I only get these:
 	"prefLabel": "Plankton_Carbon_Pool",
 	"@id": "",
 	"@type": "",

But I can see the definition in the BioPortal web interface and, of course, in the OWL file directly.

What's odd, is that I can retrieve definition for some other classes (e.g., "carbon_flux"):,definition&q=carbon_pool&apikey=XXXX

Am I doing something wrong with the API? 

Thank you!

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