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Recommended metadata properties to use in curating OBO ontologies (GO-style)

Note that while most of the practices documented here apply to all OBO ontologies this recommendation applies only to ontologies that are developed using GO-style curation workflows.

Type Property to use Required Number/Limit Description Format Annotation Reference/Comments
Label rdfs:label Y Max 1 * Full name of the term, must be unique. Free text None * some ontologies have multiple labels for different languages, in which case, there should maximum be one label per language
Definition IAO:0000115 Y Max 1 A textual definition of ther term. In most ontologies, must be unique. Free text database_cross_reference: reference materials used and contributors (in ORCID ID link format) See this document for guide on writing definitions
Contributor dcterms:contributor N (though highly reccomended) No limit The ORCID ID of people who contributed to the creation of the term. ORCID ID (using full link) None
Synonyms, http://,, N No limit Synonyms of the term. Free text database_cross_reference: reference material in which the synonymn is used See synonyms documentation for guide on using synonyms
Comments rdfs:comment N Max 1 Comments about the term, extended descriptions that might be useful, notes on modelling choices, other misc notes. Free text database_cross_reference: reference material relating to the comment See documentation on comments for more information about comments
Editor note IAO:0000116 N Max 1 A note that is not relevant to front users, but might be to editors Free text database_cross_reference: reference material relating to the note
Subset N No limit A tag that marks a term as being part of a subset annotation property that is a subproperty of subset_property (see guide on how to select this) None See Slim documentation for more information on subsets
Database Cross Reference N No limit Links out to external references. string and should* take the form {prefix}:{accession}; see db-xrefs yaml for prefixes None *Some ontologies allow full URLS in specific cases, but this is controversial
Date created dcterms:created N Max 1 Date in which the term was created ISO-8601 format None
Date last updated dcterms:date N Max 1 Date in which the term was last updated ISO-8601 format None
Deprecation N Max 1 A tag that marks a term as being obsolete/deprecated xsd:boolean (true/false) None See obsoletion guide for more details
Replaced by IAO:0100001 N Max 1 Term that has replaced an obsoleted term IRI/ID (e.g. CL:0000001) None See obsoletion guide and merging terms guide for more details