About the OBO Foundry

The mission of OBO is to support community members who are developing and publishing ontologies in the biomedical domain. It is our vision that a core of these ontologies will be fully interoperable, by virtue of a common design philosophy and implementation, thereby enabling scientists and their instruments to communicate with minimum ambiguity. In this way the data generated in the course of biomedical research will form a single, consistent, cumulatively expanding, and algorithmically tractable whole. This core will be known as the "OBO Foundry".

The OBO Foundry is open, inclusive and collaborative. The contributors are those biological researchers and ontology developers who have agreed to work together on an evolving set of design principles that can foster interoperability of ontologies, and ensure a gradual improvement of quality and formal rigor in ontologies, in ways designed to meet the increasing needs of data and information integration in the biomedical domain. By joining the OBO Foundry, the authors of an ontology commit to its maintenance in light of scientific advance, and to soliciting community feedback for its improvement. They also give an assurance that they will work with other Foundry members to ensure that, for any particular domain, there is community convergence on a single reference ontology.


Who to ask for assistance (and to complain to).

Related Projects

Brief descriptions and links to projects that are already contributing to the OBO effort.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Common questions about the OBO Foundry and OBO Foundry ontologies, along with their answers.

OBO Foundry paper in Nature, November 2007

The OBO Foundry: Coordinated Evolution of Ontologies to Support Biomedical Data Integration.