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[bioontology-support] [BioPortal] Feedback from Derrick Lottich

John Graybeal jgraybeal at
Wed May 2 14:28:47 PDT 2018

If I understand correctly, an ontology that was previously public is changed to private, that will essentially make the ontology "disappear" for users who do not have access. So the before the first publication this approach will work, but subsequently it would make the ontology regularly disappear.

In which case I think the only satisfactory workflow would be to submit the draft ontology under a different acronym, where it is set to private with permission given to the desired users, as you describe. That acronym could then host a succession of draft ontologies, while the ultimately published ontologies would permanently use the original ontology acronym.


On May 2, 2018, at 10:43 AM, Jennifer Leigh Vendetti <vendetti at<mailto:vendetti at>> wrote:

Hi Derrick,

On May 2, 2018, at 5:52 AM, support at<mailto:support at> wrote:

We have a quick question regarding ontology versions. Is it possible to release a version of our ontology in preproduction? For example, we are wondering if we can release our first OWL version of our ontology and test it out before we push it to production for everyone to see. I noticed there is a “Status” field on the Add New Submission form that has the values of alpha, beta, production, and retired. Do these control the visibility of the ontology at all or are they just labels for the submission?

These are just labels for the submission.

If you want to control the visibility of your ontology, you could change the viewing restriction to “Private”, and give read access to only the user accounts that you want to view the content during your pre-production phase.

If you have an existing ontology in BioPortal, you can go the summary page and click the “Edit ontology information” link. This will bring up a form where you can change the viewing restrictions, and add/remove accounts that are allowed to view (screen shot below). At the time that you’re ready to allow everyone to see the ontology, you can change the viewing restrictions back to “Public”.

If you’re creating a new ontology in BioPortal, you can go to the Tools -> Ontology Browser page [1], click the “Submit New Ontology” button, and you will see the same form as in the screen shot below.

Kind regards,


<Screenshot 2018-05-02 10.36.57.png>

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John Graybeal
Technical Program Manager
Center for Expanded Data Annotation and Retrieval /+/ NCBO BioPortal
Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research

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