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[bioontology-support] [BioPortal] Feedback from Michael Kuhlmann

Ray Fergerson rayferg at
Wed Oct 14 13:44:35 PDT 2015


A very good question. I’m surprised that it hasn’t come up before.

In general, our policy is to only provide browse and programmatic access to the latest version of an ontology. Older versions can typically be downloaded from our site by interested users. If someone really wants to browse multiple versions of an ontology in BioPortal they can install our BioPortal virtual machine on their own site and load the different versions as different ontologies.

OK, having said all of that, how to explain our handling of ICD? In spite of the “general policy” above, we essentially defer to the UMLS team to decide which ontology versions are important enough to merit a designation as a separate vocabulary. Basically UMLS declares that ICD9 and ICD10 are different vocabularies (rather than different versions of the same vocabulary) and treats them accordingly. We follow their lead, primarily because we think that most of our users would expect this.


From: bioontology-support [mailto:bioontology-support-bounces at] On Behalf Of support at
Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 11:58 AM
To: support at; michael.kuhlmann at
Subject: [bioontology-support] [BioPortal] Feedback from Michael Kuhlmann

Name: Michael Kuhlmann

Email: michael.kuhlmann at<mailto:michael.kuhlmann at>



I've received and API token and would like to inquire about how the ontologies are maintained. I noticed that for ICD coding there is a separate option for ICD9 vs ICD10 but don't see any versioning for CTCAE or MEDDRA. If we're pulling from the site through the API and a new version is released, how are updates handled? Will they be incorporated into the existing list?

Thank you,
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