The Gene Ontology (GO) Consortium (GOC, http://www.geneontology.org) is a community-based bioinformatics resource that classifies gene product function through the use of structured, controlled vocabularies. Over the past year, the GOC has implemented several processes to increase the quantity, quality and specificity of GO annotations. First, the number of manual, literature-based annotations has grown at an increasing rate. Second, as a result of a new 'phylogenetic annotation' process, manually reviewed, homology-based annotations are becoming available for a broad range of species. Third, the quality of GO annotations has been improved through a streamlined process for, and automated quality checks of, GO annotations deposited by different annotation groups. Fourth, the consistency and correctness of the ontology itself has increased by using automated reasoning tools. Finally, the GO has been expanded not only to cover new areas of biology through focused interaction with experts, but also to capture greater specificity in all areas of the ontology using tools for adding new combinatorial terms. The GOC works closely with other ontology developers to support integrated use of terminologies. The GOC supports its user community through the use of e-mail lists, social media and web-based resources.