Effective sharing of biological information relies on a number of factors, including the adoption and utilisation of a common, agreed-upon set of standards and data formats. However, biological data are incredibly diverse and novel datatypes are appearing frequently. Developing sensible standards and formats takes time, effort and community consultation. An important initiative involving several large-scale bioinformatics initiatives around the world is working on a solution, BioSchemas, which aims to extend the existing system to focus on biological data. Specifically, it exists in order to “facilitate the description, information sharing and promotion of life science activities”.

EMBL-ABR is part of the BioSchemas effort, and currently involved in the BioSchemas Tool Group, for the development of a schema for Tools.


This BioSchemas Tool group focuses on

  • developing a common schema to facilitate description and dissemination of a “tool” as an extension of
  • creating a specification including a metadata schema, minimum information guidelines, recommended vocabularies as well as documentation and examples about how to use the tool schema
  • engaging the community interested to describe a file science tool to participate and shape the specification.



Vicky Schneider (EMBL-ABR HUB)
Jon Ison (ELIXIR-DK)


Rafael Jimenez (ELIXIR) (link here to recent EMBL-ABR interview where Rafael discusses BioSchemas)

For more information or to get involved, please contact Vicky Schneider.