Hello everyone, I am sorry to be writing this post to explain why the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) is no longer being served by BioPortal.

We understand that this is a very important database, and we tried to convince its providers [1] to let BioPortal continue to serve it. Unfortunately, the owners of CPT make their money to support development of their product by charging people to use it, and these owners determined that the way BioPortal was serving it was not consistent with the intent of their license.

So the CPT owners requested that we take it down, and we agreed to their request. We would be happy to install it again if the owners of the license ever allow that again.

Many of you have asked about alternatives to the CPT ontology that we served. To our knowledge, no one else serves CPT in the way we did (there is nothing else quite like BioPortal!). Even if someone does serve this content publicly, it seems likely that they, too, would be asked to remove it.

However, there is a path by which you can access CPT separately, and even install it on your own private OntoPortal Appliance. Some technical competence and time is required to do this, but it’s possible. The following procedure also works for other UMLS ontologies that we have in BioPortal, but do not offer as downloads.

individuals can download UMLS themselves using their own UMLS license [2]. Once you have obtained your license and downloaded the UMLS database, you can use the umls2rdf conversion software [3] to create the data in ontology form. This converted data can then be uploaded into your own OntoPortal repository [4]. If you are a REDCap user, you can consult with REDCap [5] about modifying the system to point to your OntoPortal deployment, instead of the BioPortal repository.)

Of course all such uses must remain in accordance with the UMLS and CPT licenses under which the information is distributed. We encourage you to contact the CPT organization [1] to learn more about their licensing system. You may also wish to convey to them the value of public access to their critical data, although we are entirely sympathetic to their need to maintain a sustainable platform.

Thank you for your support of the BioPortal and OntoPortal repositories and software.

The BioPortal Team
Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics

  1. Current Procedural Terminology: https://www.ama-assn.org/amaone/cpt-current-procedural-terminology
  2. UMLS access and license: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/databases/umls.html 
  3. umls2rdf: https://github.com/ncbo/umls2rdf
  4. OntoPortal: https://ontoportal.github.io/administration
  5. REDCap: https://www.project-redcap.org/