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BioPortal: enhanced functionality via new Web services from the National Center for Biomedical Ontology to access and use ontologies in software applications.

Nucleic acids research | Jul 30, 2011

The National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO) is one of the National Centers for Biomedical Computing funded under the NIH Roadmap Initiative. Contributing to the national computing infrastructure, NCBO has developed BioPortal, a web portal that provides access to a library of biomedical ontologies and terminologies ( via the NCBO Web services. BioPortal enables community participation in the evaluation and evolution of ontology content by providing features to add mappings between terms, to add comments linked to specific ontology terms and to provide ontology reviews. The NCBO Web services ( enable this functionality and provide a uniform mechanism to access ontologies from a variety of knowledge representation formats, such as Web Ontology Language (OWL) and Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) format. The Web services provide multi-layered access to the ontology content, from getting all terms in an ontology to retrieving metadata about a term. Users can easily incorporate the NCBO Web services into software applications to generate semantically aware applications and to facilitate structured data collection.

Pubmed ID: 21672956 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Internet | Software | Terminology as Topic | Vocabulary, Controlled

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HUPO Proteomics Standards Initiative

Initiative to define community standards for data representation in proteomics to facilitate data comparison, exchange and verification. The main organizational unit is the work group, with a Gel Electrophoresis (GEL) work group, a Mass Spectrometry (MS) work group, a Molecular Interactions (MI) work group, a Protein Modifications (MOD) work group, a Proteomics Informatics (PI) work group, and a Sample Processing (SP) work group. The Gel Electrophoresis (GEL) work group aims to develop reporting requirements that supplement the Minimum Information About a Proteomics Experiment (MIAPE) parent document, describing the minimum information that should be reported about gel-based experimental techniques used in proteomics. The group will also develop data formats for capturing MIAPE-compliant data about gel electrophoresis and informatics performed on gel images. The Mass Spectrometry Standards Working Group defines community data formats and controlled vocabulary terms facilitating data exchange and archiving in the field of proteomics mass spectrometry. A past achievement is the mzData standard, which captures mass spectrometry output data. mzData's aim is to unite the large number of current formats (pkl's, dta's, mgf's, .....) into a single format. mzData has been released but is now deprecated in favor of mzML. The Molecular Interactions workgroup is concentrating on improving the annotation and representation of molecular interaction data wherever it is published, be this in journal articles, authors web-sites or public domain databases; and improving the accessibility of molecular interaction data to the user community. By using a common standard data can be downloaded from multiple sources and easily combined using a single parser. The protein modification workgroup focuses on developing a consensus nomenclature and provide an ontology reconciling in a hierarchical representation the complementary descriptions of residue modifications. The protein modification ontology (PSI-MOD) is available in OBO format or in OBO.xml. A spreadsheet containing the mapping of the descriptive labels used in various databases and search engines, the consensus list of proposed short name for protein modifications established by collaborative effort of mass spectrometry community, and the proposed rules and recommendations for this nomenclature are available. These short names are included in the ontology as synonyms of the corresponding terms. The Proteomics Informatics Standards Group (PSI-PI) goals are to provide a set of minimal reporting requirements which augment the MIAPE reporting guidelines with respect to analysis of data derived from proteomics experiments; to provide vendor-neutral and standard formats for representing results of analyzing and processing experimental data; to foster adoption of the format by highlighting efforts made by vendors and individuals that utilize the format in their products. The remit of the Sample Processing Working Group is to produce reporting guidelines, data exchange formats and controlled vocabulary covering all separation techniques not considered to be "classical" one- or two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (cf. the Gel WG home page), along with other kinds of sample handling and processing (for example, "tagging" proteins or peptides, splitting, combining and storing samples). Where possible we seek to develop our products in collaboration with all proteomics stakeholders and, where relevant, developers from other standards communities, most notably metabolomics. * Minimum reporting requirements: The evolving Minimum Information About a Proteomics Experiment (MIAPE) documents offer guidelines on how to adequately report a proteomics experiment. It is expected that these documents will be published, and that the requirements within will be enforced by journals, compliant repositories and funders (cf. MIAME). * XML formats for data exchange: Derived from the FuGE general object model, the formats developed by this workgroup are designed to function both as standalone files and as part of a "parent" FuGE-ML document. These formats will facilitate data exchange between researchers, and submission to repositories or journals. * Controlled vocabularies (CVs) and ontology: Lists of clearly defined terms are crucial for the construction of unambiguously worded data files. In addition to providing supporting CVs for the individual data capture formats as part of the integrated PSI CV, the Sample Processing WG will contribute terms to the Functional Genomics Ontology (FuGO).


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