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[bioontology-support] searching by synonyms

Jennifer Leigh Vendetti vendetti at
Thu Aug 30 16:51:26 PDT 2018

Hi Rob,

On Aug 18, 2018, at 12:52 PM, Wynne, Robert (NIH/NCI) [C] <wynner at<mailto:wynner at>> wrote:

Hi Jennifer,

Yes.  I took a look at the documentation and have tried the following calls using my key.  Neither seem to return what I’m looking for, so maybe I’m doing something wrong.

I’d like to restrict my search to just synonyms, and have classes returned that match the search value (a contains or exact match).

You can use the “include” parameter to limit what’s returned by the API. That parameter is documented in the Common Parameters section of our API documentation:

You can also set the display_links parameter to false to eliminate the hypermedia links that are returned by default.

For example (this is the /search endpoint, not the /property_search endpoint):,synonym&display_links=false

… the above call retrieves all classes from the NCIT ontology where the class name contains “Malignant”. For each class in the resulting JSON, only the preferred label and synonyms are returned:

[cid:90B15C92-ED30-4239-9D4A-D0CFB90AC09F at]

For an exact match search, you would add the require_exact_match parameter:,synonym&require_exact_match=true&display_links=false

[cid:5924C97D-D5F4-479D-AD3C-B5CBA0CDD9A6 at]

Is this the type of search you’re trying to accomplish?

Kind regards,

Can this be done through BioPortal instead?  If I go to the Advanced Search there is an option to select all properties, but is there a way to search by a single property?


From: Jennifer Leigh Vendetti <vendetti at<mailto:vendetti at>>
Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2018 7:57 PM
To: Wynne, Robert (NIH/NCI) [C] <wynner at<mailto:wynner at>>
Cc: support at<mailto:support at>; De Coronado, Sherri (NIH/NCI) [E] <decorons at<mailto:decorons at>>
Subject: Re: [bioontology-support] searching by synonyms

Hi Rob,

Apologies, but I’m not sure I followed your question.

We do have a search endpoint in the REST API for searching by ontology properties. It’s documented here:

Is this what you meant?

Kind regards,

On Aug 16, 2018, at 4:35 PM, Wynne, Robert (NIH/NCI) [C] <wynner at<mailto:wynner at>> wrote:

Hi all,

How would I use BioPortal or the BioPortal RESTAPI to search by synonyms that can be found on classes?  I guess this would go for any one specific text property.  If I do this search using REST, could I specify my property?

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