The Biomedical Resource Ontology (BRO) to enable resource discovery in clinical and translational research

Jessica D. Tenenbaum, Patricia L. Whetzel, Kent Anderson, Charles D. Borromeo, Ivo D. Dinov, Davera Gabriel, Beth Kirschner, Barbara Mirel, Tim Morris, Natasha Noy, Csongor Nyulas, David Rubenson, Paul R. Saxman, Harpreet Singh, Nancy Whelan, Zach Wright, Brian D. Athey, Michael J. Becich, Geoffrey S. Ginsburg, Mark A. MusenKevin A. Smith, Alice F Tarantal, Daniel L. Rubin, Peter Lyster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The biomedical research community relies on a diverse set of resources, both within their own institutions and at other research centers. In addition, an increasing number of shared electronic resources have been developed. Without effective means to locate and query these resources, it is challenging, if not impossible, for investigators to be aware of the myriad resources available, or to effectively perform resource discovery when the need arises. In this paper, we describe the development and use of the Biomedical Resource Ontology (BRO) to enable semantic annotation and discovery of biomedical resources. We also describe the Resource Discovery System (RDS) which is a federated, inter-institutional pilot project that uses the BRO to facilitate resource discovery on the Internet. Through the RDS framework and its associated Biositemaps infrastructure, the BRO facilitates semantic search and discovery of biomedical resources, breaking down barriers and streamlining scientific research that will improve human health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomedical Informatics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Biomedical research
  • Biositemaps
  • Clinical and Translational Science Awards
  • Ontology
  • Resource annotation
  • Resource discovery
  • Resources
  • Search
  • Semantic web
  • Web 2.0

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics


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