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Performance Summary Display Ontology (PSDO) (pronounced "pseudo" or "sudo") is an application ontology about information content and visual elements that are used to communicate performance information to employees and teams in organizations. PSDO's domain focus is on healthcare organizations that use performance summary displays in clinical dashboards and feedback interventions for healthcare professionals and teams. The displays commonly show information about the quality of care and health outcomes that has been derived from clinical data using performance measures (aka metrics, process indicators, quality measures, etc). PSDO uses Basic Formal Ontology as its upper level ontology. This work is not peer-reviewed.

Competing Interests

The authors declare no competing interests.


Research reported in this ontology was supported by the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health under grant number 1K01LM012528-01.

Ontology Content

Current Ontology Terms and Definitions

The DICTIONARY represents all terms and definitions in the Performance Summary Display Ontology that are not the result of imports from other ontologies. In order to ensure interoperability, please read the OBO Foundry Guidelines before contributing to term development.

Contributing to Term Development

All contributions to terms in the ontology should be documented in an issue. Examples of contributions are:

  1. Requesting a change to a current term.
  2. Proposing a new term.
  3. Requesting removal of a current term.

Requesting a Change or Removal

  1. Create a new issue for the change with a descriptive title.
  2. Assign the label 'term' to the issue, along with any other labels necessary.
  3. Provide a clear description regarding the change that should be addressed.
  4. Provide a reference for the change.
  5. If the change request requires action from someone specific assign the issue to that person.
  6. Create the issue.

Proposing a New Term

  1. Check the current dictionary to see if the term already exists.
  2. Create a new issue for the new term with a descriptive title, i.e., 'New Term Need: domain problem'
  3. Assign the label 'term' to the issue, along with any other labels necessary.
  4. Collect required information for a new term in the body of the issue.
    • Term name
    • Definition
    • Comment (rdfs:comment)
    • Reference
  5. Create the issue for the new term.

From Issues to Ontology

The ground truth file for the ontology is psdo.owl. The DICTIONARY is generated by running tools/ after changes are made to the src/ontology/psdo-edit.owl file. Once an issue is ready to be implemented, psdo.owl must be manually edited and tools/ must be re-run to ensure that changes are available publicly.


Getting Started

  1. Clone this repository
  2. Download & install Protege
  3. Install wget
    • OSX: brew install wget
    • Debian/Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install wget
  4. cd to project directory
  5. Run tools/
  6. Open Protege
  7. Open psdo ontology
    1. Use File>Open... menu item
    2. Open owl file psdo.owl in project directory

Release & Publish Ontology Version

  1. tools/


Ontology Content

Creative Commons License

The ontology content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Source Code

Copyright 2019 Regents of the University of Michigan

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.


Performance Summary Display Ontology





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