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[bioontology-support] Questions about API Rate Limit

John Graybeal jgraybeal at
Mon Jun 10 13:31:11 PDT 2019

Hi Arkin,

It isn't clear how big an annotation request you have, or how you are structuring your queries right now, so the best I can do is offering a few simple tips.

You can control the ontologies for which the annotations are requested, which should speed up the responses quite a bit.

If you aren't doing it already, you can implement a queuing system, which would keep track of how many submissions have been submitted each second, and also (our request) allow time between the completion of one submission, and the beginning of the next set. It is possible to bring the system down by repeatedly sending 10-15 submissions every second (on top of everything else Bioportal is doing), so we ask heavy users to give the BioPortal system time to respond to other API requests.

Unfortunately, annotations are a somewhat demanding request, so we can't really open up the API to making more requests per second than the existing limit. We generally recommend to people who are doing a lot of API submissions that they request and install the Virtual Appliance, so they can meet their API needs locally.


On Jun 10, 2019, at 7:00 AM, Arkin Dharawat <arkinrd2 at<mailto:arkinrd2 at>> wrote:


I am an Undergraduate Senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am working on a project that involves annotation for medical text and for this I am using the bio-ontology API.

However, there are a lot of entries and I have to put a timed-wait so I don't get a time-out. Is there any way you can help me by extending the rate-limit on my API key? or any other that's possible too.

Arkin Dharawat
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Mathematics and Computer Science | Class of 2019

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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