When samples are uploaded into KBase via a spreadsheet, they are transformed into an internal representation. The columns in the spreadsheet get mapped and transformed based on the template being used. Columns that correspond to recognized terms are validated to ensure they are of the proper format. This can include checking that the value is the proper type (e.g. string versus a number), in the correct range, match an enumerated list, or appear in an ontology. These controlled terms are useful both because they undergo this validation but also they provide a more precise meaning for the value and comparisons accounting for units, such as one dataset measuring depth in centimeters and one in millimeters. When the uploader encounters terms it doesn’t recognize, those terms and values will be stored in a user section of the samples. These values still serve a purpose. They can be used in analysis within that data set and they can provide contextual information that the original uploader understands. However, they can not reliably be compared across sample sets and other samples in the system. For example, two projects may use the same term to represent different concepts (e.g. depth below sea-level or depth below surface). Using templates and controlled terms clarifies the exact meaning of a term and enforces additional validation. For a full list of terms KBase recognizes, see this table [link]. If there are terms you would like added, please consult the instruction here [link] on how to request additions.