The Evidence & Conclusion Ontology (ECO) is a controlled vocabulary that describes scientific evidence, which results from a variety of research methods, as well as interpretations by authors and scientific curators. ECO is used to document scientific evidence to support conclusions that result from a scientific investigation. Since 2010, ECO has been under the stewardship of scientists at the Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS), University of Maryland, School of Medicine, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. For a detailed description of ECO architecture and development history, see here.


ECO is released into the public domain under CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0). Anyone is free to copy, modify, or distribute the work, even for commercial purposes, without asking permission. Please see the Public Domain Dedication for an easy-to-read description of CC0 1.0 or the full legal code for more detailed information. To get a sense of why ECO is CC0 as opposed to licensed under CC-BY, please read this thoughtful discussion on the OBO Foundry GitHub site.

Contact Us

For general inquiries about using the ontology, for collaborations, or to join our active development, please email us.


Michelle Giglio, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator
(previous Co-Investigator)

Marcus Chibucos, Ph.D.

(previous PI)

James Munro, Ph.D.


Dustin Olley

Website Designer

Suvarna Nadendla


Rebecca Tauber


Project Alumni

Elvira Mitraka, Ph.D.


Kimuel Villanova


Shoshannah Ball


Our Users

Group Name Logo What They Do
AgBase is a curated resource for functional analysis of agricultural plant and animal gene products including Gene Ontology annotations.
Ascidian Network for InSitu Expression and Embryological Data (ANISEED)
A digital framework for the comparative developmental biology of Ascidians
Bgee: Gene Expression Evolution
Bgee is a database to retrieve and compare gene expression patterns between animal species.
Biosapiens Network

(Inactive Project)

The objective of the BioSapiens is to provide a large scale, concerted effort to annotate genome data by laboratories distributed around Europe, using both informatics tools and input from experimentalists.
The Community Assessment of Community Annotation with Ontologies (CACAO) is a project to do large-scale manual community annotation of gene function using the Gene Ontology as a multi-institution student competition.
Centre for Therapeutic Target Validation
The Centre for Therapeutic Target Validation (CTTV) is a public-private initiative to generate evidence on the validity of therapeutic targets based on genome-scale experiments and analysis. The CTTV is working to create an R&D framework that applies to a wide range of human diseases, and is committed to sharing its data openly with the scientific community.
CollecTF Database
CollecTF is a database of transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) in the Bacteria domain. It aims at becoming a reference, highly-accessed database by relying on its ability to customize navigation and data extraction, its relevance to the community, the quality and detail of the stored data and the up-to-date nature of the stored information.
The DisGeNET database integrates human gene-disease associations (GDAs) from various expert curated databases and text-mining derived associations including Mendelian, complex and environmental diseases.
Disease Ontology (DO)
The Disease Ontology has been developed as a standardized ontology for human disease with the purpose of providing the biomedical community with consistent, reusable and sustainable descriptions of human disease terms, phenotype characteristics and related medical vocabulary disease concepts through collaborative efforts of researchers.
EMBL-EBI - Complex Portal
The Complex Portal is a manually curated, encyclopaedic resource of macromolecular complexes from a number of key model organisms.
This is ZOOMA, a curator environment for discovering optimal ontology annotations based on real, manually reviewed data.
EMBL-EBI BioModels Database
BioModels Database is a repository of computational models of biological processes. Models described from literature are manually curated and enriched with cross-references.
SIFTS is an up-to-date resource for residue-level mapping between UniProt and PDB entries. The resource also provides residue-level annotation from the IntEnz, GO, Pfam, InterPro, SCOP, CATH and PubMed resources.
The UniProt GO annotation program aims to provide high-quality Gene Ontology (GO) annotations to proteins in the UniProt Knowledgebase (UniProtKB). The assignment of GO terms to UniProt records is an integral part of UniProt biocuration.
European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI)
EMBL-EBI provides freely available data from life science experiments, performs basic research in computational biology and offers an extensive user training programme, supporting researchers in academia and industry.
GO - AmiGO 2
AmiGO 2 is a project to create the next generation of AmiGO--the current official web-based set of tools for searching and browsing the Gene Ontology database.
GO - PAINT (Phylogenetic Annotation and INference Tool)
PAINT is a Java software application for supporting inference of ancestral as well as present-day characters (represented by ontology terms) in the context of a phylogenetic tree.
Gene Ontology Consortium (GO)
The Gene Ontology (GO) project is a major bioinformatics initiative to develop a computational representation of our evolving knowledge of how genes encode biological functions at the molecular, cellular and tissue system levels. Biological systems are so complex that we need to rely on computers to represent this knowledge.
The open source ISA metadata tracking tools help to manage an increasingly diverse set of life science, environmental and biomedical experiments that employing one or a combination of technologies.
Mouse Genome
MGI is the international database resource for the laboratory mouse, providing integrated genetic, genomic, and biological data to facilitate the study of human health and disease.
Neural Electro Magnetic Ontologies (NEMO)
Neural ElectroMagnetic Ontologies (NEMO) is an NIH funded project that aims to create EEG and MEG ontologies and ontology based tools. These resources will be used to support representation, classification, and meta-analysis of brain electromagnetic data.
Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI)
The Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI) project is developing an integrated ontology for the description of life-science and clinical investigations.
Ontology for Microbial Phenotypes (OMP)
Web-based community resource designed to display microbial phenotypes and the methods used to study them.
Our overall objective is to create a scalable infrastructure that enables linking descriptive phenotype observations across different fields of biology by the semantic similarity of their free-text descriptions.
Planarian Anatomy Ontology
The Planarian Anatomy (PLANA) Ontology provides comprehensive description of Schmidtea mediterranea anatomical features, and relationships among them, throughout the life cycle of both the sexually and asexually reproducing biotypes.
PomBase is a comprehensive database for the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, providing structural and functional annotation, literature curation and access to large-scale data sets
Protein Information Resource (PIR)
The Protein Information Resource (PIR) is an integrated public bioinformatics resource to support genomic, proteomic and systems biology research and scientific studies
Pseudomonas Genome DB
The Pseudomonas Genome Database is a resource for peer-reviewed high-quality Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 genome annotation, also facilitating whole-genome comparative analyses with other Pseudomonas strains.
RNAcentral is an open resource that offers integrated access to a comprehensive and up-to-date set of ncRNA sequences.
Saccharomyces Genome Database (SGD)
The Saccharomyces Genome Database (SGD) provides comprehensive integrated biological information for the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae along with search and analysis tools to explore these data, enabling the discovery of functional relationships between sequence and gene products in fungi and higher organisms.
Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics
The SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics is an academic, non-profit foundation recognised of public utility and established in 1998. SIB coordinates research and education in bioinformatics throughout Switzerland and provides high quality bioinformatics services to the national and international research community.
The Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR)
The Arabidopsis Information Resource (TAIR) maintains a database of genetic and molecular biology data for the model higher plant Arabidopsis thaliana .
The Zebrafish Information Network (ZFIN)
ZFIN serves as a model organism database for zebrafish (Danio rerio), providing genetic, genomic, phenotypic and developmental data.
The mission of UniProt is to provide the scientific community with a comprehensive, high-quality and freely accessible resource of protein sequence and functional information.
Variation Ontology, VariO, is an ontology for standardized, systematic description of effects, consequences and mechanisms of variations. VariO allows unambiguous description of variation effects as well as computerized analyses over databases utilizing the ontology for annotation. VariO is a position specific ontology that can be used to describe effects of variations on DNA, RNA and/or protein level, whatever is appropriate.