The Environment Ontology: Contextualising biological and biomedical entities

Journal of Biomedical Semantics 4 (43):1-9 (2013)
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As biological and biomedical research increasingly reference the environmental context of the biological entities under study, the need for formalisation and standardisation of environment descriptors is growing. The Environment Ontology (ENVO) is a community-led, open project which seeks to provide an ontology for specifying a wide range of environments relevant to multiple life science disciplines and, through an open participation model, to accommodate the terminological requirements of all those needing to annotate data using ontology classes. This paper summarises ENVO’s motivation, content, structure, adoption, and governance approach.

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Barry Smith
University at Buffalo


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