There should be a person who is responsible for communications between the community and the ontology developers, for communicating with the Foundry on all Foundry-related matters, for mediating discussions involving maintenance in the light of scientific advance, and for ensuring that all user feedback is addressed.

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It is important that there is a person responsible for communication rather than a group of people or a list. Often in communications to a list, the responsibility for responding can be diffused and it is likely that in some scenarios no response will be given. It may also, from time to time, be necessary to engage in strategic communications (e.g. relating to funding or collaboration possibilities) that are not able to be made public, and these should not be conducted on public mailing lists. The designation of a contact person is not to be interpreted as a designation for credit. Note that alternative contacts can be designated in case the primary contact is unavailable. However, as for the primary contact, each alternative contact must be an individual.


Recommendations and Requirements

The name, email address and github username of this person should be provided when requesting to register with OBO. This person must be subscribed to obo-discuss in order to be kept abreast of community developments of relevance to participating ontology projects. The email address of the person who is the locus of the authority must be kept up-to-date, and before that person ceases to have responsibility for the project, they should identify a replacement and update the metadata accordingly (via the OBO Foundry issue tracker) before they move on. The contact person can, of course, delegate these responsibilities as necessary.


For ChEBI, the primary contact person is Adnan Malik (


Mailing list; for ChEBI,