Occasionally, in developing ontology vocabulary, the situation arises where a consortium member has a form or document that contains useful ontology content but which is internal to the member’s institution (the provider) or which contains personal information and so can only be offered for review with a contract that it not be shared beyond the GenEpiO Leadership, Editorial, or Technical groups. If a GenEpiO working group has been made privy to data (incl. documents) that has not been declared public, it will not share the data (outside its group) unless consent is given by the provider, or the data content status has been verified by the provider as public. If data has been declared public it will be assumed that there are no further authorization checks required for sharing it.

Normally a GenEpiO entry attributes the source of a term to its provider. There may be cases where a provider does not wish to be acknowledged (for example where a provider wished to supply an internal document as an anonymous prototype), in which case GenEpiO will find another source definition, or will identify itself as the term source. Normally this is not expected to be a problem because the editorial process will usually involve changes to term definition and potentially term label to fit the BFO standard; thus transforming any specific data source field into a generically applicable and acceptable field or concept.