Privacy Statement

1. Who is producing PROMA

PROMA Appscript for Google Spreadsheet is a add-on developed by the BigBio Team, a group of developers from the EMBL-EBI (United Kingdom) and Chongqing University (China). The lead developer for the app is Dr Yasset Perez-Riverol. The tool is powered by the Ontology engine OntoMaton developed by the ISA-Team.

2. Why was PROMA developped?

PROMA was initially developed to allow semantic markup and ontology based annotations of proteomics datasets using the MAGE-TAB proteomics file format in a collaborative spreadsheet environment. The solution which was eventually developed is so generic that it can be used to provide ontology annotation in any Google Spreadsheet, irrespective of the spreadsheet layout.

With PROMA, users associate textual entities such as strings with a persistent, stable, resolvable identifier uniquely linked to a concept or term found in a semantic resources, thus disambiguating annotation. The intended audience for PROMA is Research Scientists, Data Curators, Annotators or anyone involved in improving and harmonizing document annotation.

3. What does PROMA require and do?

At the core of the function offered by PROMA is the reliance on third party ontology services, which are: - NCBO Bioportal - EMBL-EBI Ontology Lookup Service - Linked Open Vocabulary Database. When using PROMA, strings located in a cell of a spreadsheet are used as input to create a request to these third party ontology services, which will return any hit/match on the resources hosted. With the results returned by the service are then displayed in the dedicated panel in the Google spreadsheeet for users to choose and select the most suitable.

4. Which personal information does PROMA need and does PROMA store any of my data?

PROMA uses 2 different types of user data:

4.1. User Authentication Information

Since PROMA is an add-on to Google Spreadsheet, for it to work, PROMA requires user consent to be installed. It is only with this consent that the PROMA application can use user authentication credentials to access user’s Google Spreadsheet documents (file names, permissions, and within a spreadsheet, the different worksheets witthin a workbook).

This is the only Add-ons can actually operate.

4.2. Spreadsheet information

Once PROMA is installed, users can then invoke the functions (ontology lookup or tagging) of the tool. As described earlier on, these functions use strings, as found in the document cells, to form a request to the APIs of the 3 ontology services listed above. All of these APIs rely on API-keys. Each of these keys is associated with the PROMA App, not with the user who has granted access to the PROMA app.


  • PROMA app does not store or use any personal data
  • PROMA app does not send any information back to either the BigBio Team or PROMA Developers or any of the institutions involved in the development of the tool.
  • No information about PROMA usage is tracked, recorded or stored in any way or forms by the ISA Team or PROMA Developers or the University of Oxford

5. Who is the Data Controller for PROMA and Whom should I contact for any inquiry about data use?

As indicated in section 4, PROMA does not store any personal information nor does it transmit information to PROMA developers or any third party for data mining and tracking, therefore PROMA does not require a Data Controller. However, for any question about PROMA, feature requests, users can contact the BigBio Team and the developers.

6. How long is user personal data stored ?

As indicated in section 4, PROMA does not store any personal information nor does it transmit information to PROMA developers or any third party, so the concern about duration of storage does not apply.

7. Anything else users need to know about Data Privacy and associated concerns ?

Well yes there is. Since PROMA does not store or handles users data, it is the responsibility of the user (data owner) to take all the necessary measures to ensure that sensitive data is handled in compliance with privacy preserving regulation.

As a reminder, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to the UK since 25 May 2018. It replaces the 1998 Data Protection Act and introduce new rules on privacy notices, as well as the processing and safeguarding personal data. By using the plugin you are agreeing to this as outlined in our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

  • We require access to edit Spreadsheets in order to add restrictions, store settings, and to automatically create term provenance.
  • We also need to insert content in the sheet when the user selects a term.
  • No user data is ever transferred to the PROMA development team.