The BioTop Family of Upper Level Ontological Resources for Biomedicine

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2017;235:441-445.


BioTop is a domain upper level ontology for the life sciences, based on OWL DL, introduced ten years ago. This paper provides an update of the current state of this resource, with a special focus on BioTop's top level, BioTopLite, which currently contains 55 classes, 37 object properties and 247 description logics axioms. A bridging file allows harmonising BioTopLite with the classes of Basic Formal Ontology BFO2. The updated OWL resources are available at They build the core of several upper level ontological artefacts including bridging ontologies to other upper level resources.

Keywords: Description Logics; Semantic Interoperability; Upper-level Ontology.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Ontologies*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Humans
  • Information Storage and Retrieval*
  • Software*