The Ontology for Biomedical Investigations

The Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI) project is developing an integrated ontology for the description of life-science and clinical investigations.

Ontology Consortium Participate

What is it?

The Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI) project is developing an integrated ontology for the description of biological and clinical investigations. This includes a set of 'universal' terms, that are applicable across various biological and technological domains, and domain-specific terms relevant only to a given domain. This ontology will support the consistent annotation of biomedical investigations, regardless of the particular field of study. The ontology will represent the design of an investigation, the protocols and instrumentation used, the material used, the data generated and the type analysis performed on it. Currently OBI is being built under the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO).

  • Develop an Ontology for Biomedical Investigations in collaboration with groups representing different biological and technological domains involved in Biomedical Investigations
  • Make OBI compatible with other bio-ontologies
  • Develop OBI using an open source approach
  • Create a valuable resource for the biomedical communities to provide a source of terms for consistent annotation of investigations

For further information please see our FAQ section


Who is OBI?

The OBI project is an international, collaborative effort to build an ontology to be used for annotation of Biomedical Investigations. The OBI Consortium is the name under which the OBI project authors its work.


OBI Tutorials


Talk with us

We have mailing lists for both users and developers. Join the users list to be notified of each OBI release. If you represent a Community that would like to collaborate in the development of OBI, contact the Coordination Committee.

Conference Calls

Twice a week Developer Working Group conference calls are held on Monday from 12-1PM EST, 5-6PM GMT, and Wednesdays from 11-12AM EST, 4-5PM GMT, with the exception of the second Wednesday of each month (Coordinate Call). For more information on these calls, check the conference call agenda.

Report bugs

Visit our issue tracker to report problems or submit terms for inclusion, and to track their resolution.

Contribute to the software effort

  • Our subversion repository contains release intermediate versions and various documentation and applications for download.
  • Note that the download link (right) is to the last stable OBI release. We recommend you check out the most recent version from svn for an up to date file instructions here.
  • The OBI calendar lists the regular branch calls and face-to-face developers meetings.




Consult the User's Guide for information on using the wiki software.