Unified Medical Language System® (UMLS®)
UMLS - Frequently Asked Questions
Click on a topics to reveal its questions and answers or click "expand all" to reveal all of the questions and answers.
- Go to https://uts.nlm.nih.gov//license.html.
- Read and scroll through each tab.
- Complete and submit the license form.
- There are no fees for the UMLS Metathesaurus License.
- Appendix 2 of the license, the SNOMED CT Affiliate Licence Agreement, refers to fees for the use of SNOMED CT. Note that:
- SNOMED CT is owned and maintained by the IHTSDO. The US is a member country of the IHTSDO.
- There are no fees for SNOMED CT use and deployment in the US or any member country of the IHTSDO.
- Learn more about the fee structure and exemptions for use and deployment in non-member countries.
- If you have questions about fees for SNOMED CT, contact the IHTSDO regarding fees before signing up for a UMLS License: http://www.ihtsdo.org/snomed-ct/get-snomed-ct.
Licenses are registered to individuals. There are no organizational or enterprise licenses.
NLM requires at least once licensee per organization. However it is fine to have multiple licensees from the same organization. Each person who requires access to the browsers and/or downloads must have their own license. We do not encourage users to share account information with one another.
There is not a separate license for commercial organizations. However if your product incorporates data from the UMLS, you must have a license. Additionally we require that your clients have a license as well. The same license and rules apply to all users.
View the PDF of the license agreement.
Contact the content provider directly to ensure that your use is covered by the UMLS License. Appendix 1 of the license lists contact information for each vocabulary.
As part of the license agreement, you agree to provide NLM with a yearly report of how you used the UMLS. The report is due every January. NLM will send several e-mail reminders in January and you will complete the report through your UTS profile.
As mentioned in the SNOMED CT Affiliate License Agreement, you agree to report to the IHTSDO on your usage of SNOMED CT in non-Member countries. This report should be submitted to the IHTSDO through their Member Licensing and Distribution Service before starting activities in non-Member countries. Complete details are available from the IHTSDO at http://www.ihtsdo.org/snomed-ct/get-snomed-ct. A list of member countries is available at http://www.ihtsdo.org/members.
There are two ways to access the downloads:
Go to the Downloads Homepage to view available downloads.
The UMLS is updated in May and November of each year. The May release is the AA release (ex. 2015AA) and the November release is the AB Release (ex. 2015AB).
Begin learning about the UMLS with these tools:
The UMLS Reference Manual provides an overview of the UMLS and:
- Metathesaurus overview and organization (concepts, relationships, attributes)
- Details about the RRF data files (columns, rows, and descriptions)
- Mappings Representation in the Metathesaurus
The Source Release Documentation has a summary, metadata and statistics for each vocabulary in the UMLS Metathesaurus. It includes Metathesaurus representation and source representation pages for selected vocabularies. The representation pages detail how the original source information is reflected in the Metathesaurus.
Additional technical documentation: Sample database queries and load scripts
MetamorphoSys (Local Installation of the UMLS)
View the MetamorphoSys homepage for help with your local installation of the UMLS.
UMLS users are encouraged to subscribe to this list, to share their experiences with, or seek advice from the UMLS community on using UMLS resources. NLM also uses this forum to distribute official announcements about UMLS products and services.
- To subscribe, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org containing the following message: SUBSCRIBE UMLSUSERS-L <your full name>
- To post a message to the list AFTER subscribing, send an e-mail to: UMLSUSERS-L@list.nih.gov
- To access subscription information and list archives, go to: UMLSUSERS-L Listserv Web page
The UMLS Terminology Services (UTS) Web site gives you access to the UMLS browsers, downloads, and APIs.
You create a username and password as part of the license application. If you cannot remember your username or password, the UTS Sign In page provides options to retrieve your username and reset your password.
Other frequently asked questions for the UMLS resources:
We welcome any questions and comments via our contact form.