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Overview of EVS

NCI Enterprise Vocabulary Services (EVS) provides controlled vocabulary that is the semantic base for caCORE, CORE infrastructure, and caBIG tools and collaborations.

EVS, a collaborative effort of the NCI Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (CBIIT) and the NCI Office of Communications, develops and provides operations support for the NCI Thesaurus (NCIt), a cancer-focused terminology and the NCI Metathesaurus (Meta), a mapping between many terminologies, two broadly used vocabulary sources for cancer research.

EVS also conducts the Biomedical Grid Terminology (BiomedGT) project to enlist participation in developing an open, federated ontology covering translational research. EVS has developed tools to support collaborative community-based ontology development, and is actively seeking subject matter experts from across biomedicine as contributors to BiomedGT.

In addition, EVS licenses and serves third party terminology as needed to meet NCI and caBIG requirements; hosts and contributes to other standards; and works with vendors to create and improve tools for vocabulary development, curation and deployment. EVS from its beginning has sought to address the broad spectrum of terminology needs at NCI.

Architecturally the EVS terminology service is a component of caCORE. The LexEVS 4.2 service is the current release, and LexEVS 5.0 is under development. With that release, the caCORE 3.x APIs and EVS 3.x Grid services will be retired. Refer to the retirement announcement for details.

The EVS/caCORE 4.x service supports the new distributed LexBIG API as well as the older caCORE 3.2 EVS API. Both are supported by the LexBIG server. Because adoption of the LexBIG terminology server is a major change for EVS users, we are continuing to operate the original caCORE 3.2 server as well as the newer EVS/caCORE 4.x server. For both, the caCORE client side APIs provide an open, publicly available, unified interface to EVS services. Effective with caCORE 4.1 EVS surfaced a terminology service node based on the caCORE 3.2 EVS API on caGrid 1.1.

The underlying software code, object model, use cases, and user documentation are available for use under an open-source license. Developers are encouraged visit the EVS download page for the relevant files and licensing information.

The following Enterprise Architect example files are available.

Semantics of NCI Terminology (NCIt) 

NCIt provides four features which together provide proven sufficient basis for the semantic integration of the caCORE. These four features are:

  • Permanent, non-semantic concept codes
  • NCI preferred terms for each concept
  • English language definitions
  • Synonyms

More complete description of the semantics of NCIt has been posted. A document briefly describing the editorial policies governing change to NCIt content is included with the semantics information.

Using the EVS Wiki

This is the wiki home page for the EVS products. EVS developers may edit this page and any user may add a comment.

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