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The BioAssay Ontology (BAO) has been developed to formally describe biological screening assays and their results including high-throughput screening (HTS) data; specifically in the domain of small molecule drug and probe development. BAO enables categorization of assays and results by based on several concepts that are important to interpret and analyze screening data with the goal to infer the mechanism of action of small molecules based on the known aggregate screening results from many assays.