Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I join the OBO Foundry?

Joining is easy! Just follow the steps on our join page. We look forward to hearing from you.

How should I cite the OBO Foundry?

Smith B, Ashburner M, Rosse C, Bard C, Bug W, Ceusters W, Goldberg L J, Eilbeck K, Ireland A, Mungall C J, The OBI Consortium, Leontis N, Rocca-Serra P, Ruttenberg A, Sansone S-A, Scheuermann R H, Shah N, Whetzel P L and Lewis S (2007). "The OBO Foundry: coordinated evolution of ontologies to support biomedical data integration", Nature Biotechnology 25, 1251 - 1255.

Are the ontologies in the OBO Foundry available only in OBO format?

No! Here is a definition of the OBO language in terms of OWL semantics. You can download any OBO ontology in various formats--including OWL--here.

Is there a tool that will let me create or edit OBO ontologies?

OBO-Edit, an open source Java tool, offers a convenient visual interface for creating, editing, and browsing ontologies. It was initially created to work on OBO-format ontologies, but is currently being extended to handle other ontology formats, such as OWL.

How should we resolve conflicts when ontologies overlap?

Make every attempt to resolve inconsistencies and merge the ontologies. Tools are available for aiding this process (such as OBOL and Prompt) and the community can be used to help clarify best practices. Also, face-to-face meetings can helpful to resolve details that cannot be covered through email.