Better living through ontologies at the Immune Epitope Database

Database (Oxford). 2017 Jan 1;2017(1):bax014. doi: 10.1093/database/bax014.


The Immune Epitope Database (IEDB) project incorporates independently developed ontologies and controlled vocabularies into its curation and search interface. This simplifies curation practices, improves the user query experience and facilitates interoperability between the IEDB and other resources. While the use of independently developed ontologies has long been recommended as a best practice, there continues to be a significant number of projects that develop their own vocabularies instead, or that do not fully utilize the power of ontologies that they are using. We describe how we use ontologies in the IEDB, providing a concrete example of the benefits of ontologies in practice.

Database url:

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Biological Ontologies*
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Epitopes / immunology*
  • Vocabulary, Controlled*


  • Epitopes