Resources for Data Contributors

From phenoscape

The following instructions outline the resources used by Phenoscape curators for the annotation of evolutionary phenotypes. If you are a student intern, please refer to the Student Instructions page for more information and links.

Data uploaded to the Phenoscape Knowledgebase are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (see Phenoscape data policy)

1. Download Most Recent Version of Phenex

Phenex was developed by Phenoscape for annotation of evolutionary phenotypes. You can find instructions for downloading and installing Phenex at the Phenex homepage.

2. Access Project Files

Phenoscape project files are XML files (more specifically, they are in NeXML format) created using Phenex and available on GitHub at

3. Access PDFs for Curation

Phenoscape maintains a collection of PDFs for curation. Please ask project personnel (Wasila or Paula) for access to the collection.

4. Use Ontologies to Annotate Characters

The primary activity of a curator is to annotate the free-text characters from systematic studies using ontologies. Instructions for this activity can be found in the Phenoscape Guide to Character Annotation.

5. Update Taxon Lists

Most project files require a taxonomic expert to review the taxonomy used in a publication and update to reflect current taxonomy. Please see instructions for creating taxon lists in Phenex or instructions for updating taxon lists with valid taxon names.

6. Request New Terms for Ontologies

Curation drives ontology development and many new terms and relationships need to be added. Submit requests for updates to the ontologies used in Phenoscape to the following term trackers:

7. Edit the Anatomy Ontology

8. Subscribe to Curator and Ontology Request Mailing Lists

  • Discussion of ontology development and Open Biomedical Ontologies community issues obo-discuss