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Starting July 1, 2013

All queries to the GO helpdesk (via the webform or by email) to the address go-helpdesk(-at-)geneontology[-dot-]org will be routed to the new GOJIRA system:


If you don't have a login, email tberardini(at)arabidopsis(dot)org to request one.

There's a section on 'Help with queries' at the bottom of this wiki.

Summary of duties of a GO helper (see below for details)

- Triage queries. Assign queries to others or to yourself. Resolve queries assigned to you if any.

- Check the FAQ. Answers might already be there.

- If needed, improve FAQ documentation on website, or assign task to others (contact Seth or Moni if you need help with the website).

- Post on the website: interesting papers that use GO, significant updates to annotation files and to ontology structure/content, etc.

- At the end of your weekly shift, wrap up pending queries, following up with assignees if necessary, or otherwise make sure that queries can be closed. Then send a reminder to the next person on the rota.


Starting July 1, 2013

To divide up the work of answering gohelp queries, we use a gohelp rota where each person is 'on duty' for 1 week at a time. It is responsibility of the person on duty to make sure that all queries are answered, either by answering it themselves, or by assigning the issue to someone else to answer.

All helpdesk questions will be handled through GOJIRA http://jira.geneontology.org

When a new issue comes in, you will receive an email from GOJIRA.

  • Log in to your account.
  • Work your way through the open and unassigned issues.

For each one:

  • Click on the Summary field and change the Summary to something descriptive. (no email generated)
  • Click on the Edit button and
    • (1) Select an Issue Type (Bug Report, New Feature Request, Question, Spam/Delete) (no email generated)
    • (2) Add one or more Components (annotations, internal discussion, ontology, out of scope for GO, software, third party tools, website) (no email generated) Leave Labels alone, we don't use these.
    • (3) Do not add your response to the user in the comment box on this popped-out window. The comment will not be sent to the user if you do this.
  • Decide, can you answer this issue yourself?
    • IF YES: Assign the issue to yourself. Click on the 'Comment' button at the bottom left hand corner of the page and answer the question using the comment section of the webpage. Your comment will be sent to the user (the reporter), yourself (if you've set your profile preferences that way), and all go-helpers.
    • IF NO: Assign the issue to someone else (if software related, assign to GO Software) who should answer the question. In your comment, say something like "Thanks for contacting GO. I'm passing your question on to…". If the person you want to assign the issue to is not on the list of JIRA users (doesn't show up when you start typing their name in the box), please let me (Tanya) know and I'll add them.
  • Want to make an 'internal' comment that is not seen by the issue reporter?
    • At the bottom of the Comment window, there is a little padlock that is unlocked and says 'Viewable by All Users' by default. From the padlock's drop-down menu, select 'go-curators' and the comment will be seen by all people on the go rota as well as Judy, Suzi, Mike, Seth, Chris, and Heiko. The padlock will appear locked after you choose this option.
  • Please make sure you check your issues on the JIRA website for any additional correspondence from the submitter, in addition to monitoring your email inboxes. (If submitters attach files to their replies, these will be threaded in Jira, but no emails to GO people will be generated.)

At the end of the week, close any items assigned to yourself that require no further action. You may want to ping people who you've assigned issues to if they haven't responded yet. (Spam/Delete issues will be deleted by either Bob or Tanya.)

Setting GOJIRA preferences

JIRA's default setting is to not notify users of their own changes. This can be changed on a per user basis via their Profile Preferences.

Each user can set this if he or she wants to get email notifications for "Current User". It's off by default. 'Off' means that if you comment on an issue, you WILL NOT receive a copy of the comment by email. Some of you may want to change that behavior.

Go to your User display by clicking on your username in any page. Click on "Profile". Go to the Preferences section. Click on the little pencil button off to the right to edit preferences. Set "My Changes" to "Notify me". The Profile section is also where you can set the email prefs for HTML vs. Text. I know that some of you prefer to receive the emails as Text.

Go to your Dashboard (what you see when you log in). In the 'Favorite Filters' section, click on Manage Filters. Select both 'Open Issues' and 'Unassigned Open Issues' from the choices. This will then show you by default the number of issues in each category when you log in and you can then click to each list individually.

Help with queries

  • The archive from the old mailman system is still available for searching: [1].
  • The EBI gohelp JIRA set up is also still available for searching: [2]