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The open source ISA metadata tracking tools help to manage an increasingly diverse set of life science, environmental and biomedical experiments that employing one or a combination of technologies.

Built around the ‘Investigation’ (the project context), Study’ (a unit of research) and ‘Assay’ (analytical measurement) general-purpose Tabular format, the ISA tools helps you to provide rich description of the experimental metadata (i.e. sample characteristics, technology and measurement types, sample-to-data relationships) so that the resulting data and discoveries are reproducible and reusable.

To find out more about ISA, see

To find out who's using ISA and about the ISA development and user community, see

The ISA API aims to provide you, the developer, with a set of tools to help you easily and quickly build your own ISA objects, validate, and convert between serializations of ISA-formatted datasets and other formats/schemas (e.g. SRA schemas). The ISA API is published on PyPI as the isatools package.

isatools currently supports Python 3.6+.

Read the Publication...

Read our open access publication "SA API: An open platform for interoperable life science experimental metadata", published in GigaScience as a technical note

David Johnson, Dominique Batista, Keeva Cochrane, Robert P. Davey, Anthony Etuk, Alejandra Gonzalez-Beltran, Kenneth Haug, Massimiliano Izzo, Martin Larralde, Thomas N. Lawson, Alice Minotto, Pablo Moreno, Venkata Chandrasekhar Nainala, Claire O'Donovan, Luca Pireddu, Pierrick Roger, Felix Shaw, Christoph Steinbeck, Ralf J. M. Weber, Susanna-Assunta Sansone, Philippe Rocca-Serra. ISA API: An open platform for interoperable life science experimental metadata. 2020.11.13.382119; doi: 10.1093/gigascience/giab060

Authors: The ISA team.

License: This code is licensed under the CPAL License.


ISA team email:

ISA discussion group:!forum/isaforum

Github issue tracker:

Using the ISA-API

The documentation to install and use the ISA-API (v0.12 and above) can be found here.

For the previous versions (up to v0.11) check the documentation here.


The ISA-API is still in development. We would be very happy to receive any help and contributions (testing, feature requests, pull requests). Please feel free to contact our development team at, or ask a question, report a bug or file a feature request in the Github issue tracker at