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FormalParameter (Type)

Version: 1.0-RELEASE (2020-10-19)


If you spot any errors or omissions with this type, please file an issue in our GitHub.


The following people have been involved in the creation of this specification document. They are all members of the Workflow group.

Group Leader(s)
Other team members

Canonical URL hierarchy

This is a new Type that fits into the hierarchy as follows:
Thing > Intangible > FormalParameter


A FormalParameter is an identified variable used to stand for the actual value(s) that are consumed/produced by a set of steps

Change Log

No changes from previous version.

Latest types

Latest release: 1.0-RELEASE

Previous types

Previous version: 0.1-DRAFT-2020_07_21

Group Task & Issues

Key to specification table
  • Green properties/types are proposed by Bioschemas, or indicate proposed changes by Bioschemas to
  • Red properties/types exist in the core of
  • Blue properties/types exist in the pending area of
  • Black properties/types are reused from external vocabularies/ontologies
PropertyExpected TypeDescription
Properties from FormalParameter
defaultValue Text  or
The default value of the input. For properties that expect a literal, the default is a literal value, for properties that expect an object, it's an ID reference to one of the current values.
encodingFormat Text  or
Media type typically expressed using a MIME format (see IANA site and MDN reference) e.g. application/zip for a SoftwareApplication binary, audio/mpeg for .mp3 etc.).

In cases where a CreativeWork has several media type representations, encoding can be used to indicate each MediaObject alongside particular encodingFormat information.

Unregistered or niche encoding and file formats can be indicated instead via the most appropriate URL, e.g. defining Web page or a Wikipedia/Wikidata entry. Supersedes fileFormat.
valueRequired Boolean For an input, whether a value must be specified for the workflow to be run. Default is false.
Properties from Thing
additionalType URL An additional type for the item, typically used for adding more specific types from external vocabularies in microdata syntax. This is a relationship between something and a class that the thing is in. In RDFa syntax, it is better to use the native RDFa syntax - the 'typeof' attribute - for multiple types. tools may have only weaker understanding of extra types, in particular those defined externally.
alternateName Text An alias for the item.
description Text A description of the item.
disambiguatingDescription Text A sub property of description. A short description of the item used to disambiguate from other, similar items. Information from other properties (in particular, name) may be necessary for the description to be useful for disambiguation.
identifier PropertyValue  or
Text  or
The identifier property represents any kind of identifier for any kind of Thing, such as ISBNs, GTIN codes, UUIDs etc. provides dedicated properties for representing many of these, either as textual strings or as URL (URI) links. See background notes for more details.
image ImageObject  or
An image of the item. This can be a URL or a fully described ImageObject.
mainEntityOfPage CreativeWork  or
Indicates a page (or other CreativeWork) for which this thing is the main entity being described. See background notes for details.
Inverse property: mainEntity.
name Text The name of the item.
potentialAction Action Indicates a potential Action, which describes an idealized action in which this thing would play an 'object' role.
sameAs URL URL of a reference Web page that unambiguously indicates the item's identity. E.g. the URL of the item's Wikipedia page, Wikidata entry, or official website.
subjectOf CreativeWork  or
A CreativeWork or Event about this Thing.
Inverse property: about.
url URL URL of the item.

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