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[bioontology-support] API limits

John Graybeal jgraybeal at
Thu May 31 21:27:06 PDT 2018

Hi Sean, thanks for the question.

The default (and current) limit for requests is 15 requests/second. (This is set in, and the code that handles it is The final settings can be overwritten in but this one is not.)

Please be aware that there are queries that will overload the system when run at anything approaching 15 requests/second. Downloading large ontologies via API by walking their pages, getting ontology recommendations on large bodies of text, and searching within large branches are 3 examples of operations that can overload BioPortal.

We encourage anyone considering repeated requests to avoid parallelizing their requests, instead waiting for one to complete before issuing the next. (Considering that a number of other people may also be making expensive requests at the same time.)


On May 30, 2018, at 1:21 PM, Mullane, Sean *HS <SPM9R at<mailto:SPM9R at>> wrote:


Can you tell me what, if any, limits there are on the BioPortal API in terms of requests/sec or requests/day or other rate limits as applicable?

Sean Mullane
bioontology-support mailing list
bioontology-support at<mailto:bioontology-support at>

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

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