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[bioontology-support] Questions about NCBO status and BioPortal

Jeff Lerman jeff.lerman at
Wed Aug 7 10:57:26 PDT 2019

Got it, thanks.  Sounds like BioPortal lives on as an organization/team ( as well as an application/toolset ( - is that (more or less) correct?

Thanks also for the explanation of the relationship to OBO Foundry.  I’m
sure some of the consequent details will become more clear as I browse some
of the individual ontologies - e.g. I’m curious whether there are cases
where a given ontology might be more current at BioPortal, though perhaps
less in agreement with the unified model that OBO Foundry offers (if that
makes sense).


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Jeff Lerman

AI Scientist

Mobile: 510-495-4621

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On Tue, Aug 6, 2019 at 5:52 PM Jennifer Leigh Vendetti <
vendetti at> wrote:

> Hi Jeff,
> On Aug 2, 2019, at 3:47 PM, Jeff Lerman <jeff.lerman at> wrote:
> Is NCBO still a going/funded entity?  I did see an (undated, but
> apparently from January 2018
> mention on your wiki that NCBO’s funding has ended.  However, I see that
> the email support list is still active, and many of the ontologies listed
> at have been updated in 2019.  Is development at NCBO ongoing?
> Funding has concluded for the National Center for Biomedical Ontology.
> The BioPortal application, which was initially developed as part of NCBO,
> continues to be funded and is actively developed / maintained.
> I’m also not completely clear on NCBO’s relationship with the OBO Foundry
> - both appear to be efforts to provide a set of biomedical ontologies that
> are coherent, in order to set a common language for describing biomedical
> concepts.  Is there a relationship (formal or informal) between OBO Foundry
> and NCBO (or NCBO’s efforts)?
> We have an informal relationship with the OBO Foundry community. On the
> BioPortal side, we make an effort to include and serve all of the
> ontologies that are part of the OBO Foundry. I would say the major
> difference is that their set of ontologies is highly curated. You can’t
> upload an ontology to the OBO Foundry without going through a review
> process. This is in contrast to BioPortal, where anyone that has a
> BioPortal account can upload their ontology.
> Kind regards,
> Jennifer
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