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Ontology Term Search

last updated at 2024-04-26

While this page will focus on the ontology term search, it will also feature useful information about term search related to the Building Blocks page. Such general applicable information will be listed under General.

Ontologies are controlled vocabularies, consisting of terms and relationships. Most of these terms feature a name, a unique identifier and a description. We use these ontology terms for workflow description to utilize the benefits of a unified language in terms of machine-readability and reproducibility, following FAIR principles.


You can find ontology term search fields on the Building Blocks and on the Ontology Term Search tab in the sidebar.


Term Insert

| term name | term source ontology | term id |
Relationship-Directed Search

Ontology terms contain different types of relationships between each other. For example is_a, part_of, xref relationships. Swate and the SwateDB utilize these relationships to provide the user with a predefined set of terms as most likely search requests.

Let's look at this with an example:

Input [Source Name] Component [instrument model] TSR (MS:1000031) TAN (MS:1000031) Output [Sample Name]

If a user wants to fill in cells of the column Component [instrument model], they are most likely looking for the instrument model used in their experimental workflow. In this example the instrument model series and the exact instrument models are so-called child terms of instrument model (MS:1000031) because they are connected to instrument model (MS:1000031) via is_a relationships. When a cell of the column Component [instrument model] is selected, the respective child terms can be shown by double clicking into the empty search field.

When you start typing a word to search for a specific term, both child terms and unrelated terms will be suggested. You can recognize the terms that are related to your building block header (parent term, b) by the symbol in front of the terms ( c ). To switch off this feature in your annotation table you can deactivate the magnifying glass symbol by clicking the symbol or by pressing Tab.

DataPLANT Support

Besides these technical solutions, DataPLANT supports you with community-engaged data stewardship. For further assistance, feel free to reach out via our helpdesk or by contacting us directly .
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