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J Biomed Semantics. 2013 Dec 11;4(1):43. doi: 10.1186/2041-1480-4-43.

The environment ontology: contextualising biological and biomedical entities.

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1
HGF-MPG Research Group on Deep-Sea Ecology and Technology, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Am Handelshafen 12, Bremerhaven 27570, Germany. pbuttigi@mpi-bremen.de.

Abstract

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; http://www.environmentontology.org) 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. The ontology is available from http://purl.obolibrary.org/obo/envo.owl - an OBO format version is also available by switching the file suffix to "obo".

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