NCBO's BioPortal

Launch BioPortalWelcome to NCBO's BioPortal home page and technical index. Here you can find information about BioPortal and its related products, launch the BioPortal service, and learn how to get support and contact us for more information.


BioPortal is an open repository of biomedical ontologies, a service that provides access to those ontologies, and a set of tools for working with them. BioPortal provides a wide range of such tools, either directly via the BioPortal web site, or using the BioPortal web service REST API. BIoPortal also includes community features for adding notes, reviews, and even mappings to specific ontologies.

BioPortal is the work of the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO), a center initially supported by the National Institutes of Health.

There are a number of different web sites associated with BioPortal:

BioPortal is also on social media! Visit us on twitter (@bioontology), like us on Facebook (National Center for Biomedical Ontology on Facebook, and join us on LinkedIn (National Center for Biomedical Ontology LinkedIn group).


BioPortal has four major product components: the web application; the API services; widgets, or applets, that can be installed on your own site; and a Virtual Appliance version that is available for download or through Amazon Web Services machine instance (AMI). There is also a beta release SPARQL endpoint.

The web application and the API services access largely the same set of components (links are for the web application): ontology browser, term searcher, mappings browser, ontology recommender (given a corpus), text annotator (given a corpus), biomedical resource searcher (using specified terms), and a project viewer. The SPARQL endpoint (beta!) is also available for API access, per the SPARQL endpoint documentation.

BioPortal's offers a number of widgets that can be deployed on your web site or web forms. These widgets let users select a term from a controlled vocabulary; search an ontology; visualize an ontology; or display an ontology tree. See the NCBO Widgets page for more information about using these tools.

Finally, we offer the NCBO's BioPortal as an appliance that you can run in your own machine. The appliance can be obtained as a download, or as an Amazon AWS machine instance. For either, please see the NCBO Virtual Appliance information on this web site for more details.

Support and Contact Info

There are many ways to get BioPortal help, provide feedback, and contact us!

Getting Support: You can just send email to, or fill out a support request on the BioPortal application site using the Feedback link (upper right). But most effective is to join our mail list, so your questions are posted much faster and we can respond most effectively.

Documentation: Of course, the support list is a great source of past questions and information, and you can visit the support archives. We have many other sources of documentation; see the list to the right for the details.

Contacting Us: In addition to the Getting Support approaches documented above, you can find additional contact information at our contact page.


Our support list archives actually can be accessed at either of two locations:

Other sources of information include:

We accept pull requests to the NCBO GitHub repository, once you have contacted us to discuss your intent.