What is biotoolsSchema?
biotoolsSchema is a formalised XML schema (XSD) which defines a description model for bioinformatics software. It can be used to describe bioinformatics tools - application software with well-defined data processing functions (inputs, outputs and operations). This includes simple tools with one or a few closely related functions, and complex, multimodal tools with many functions. A broad range of software types (see below) are covered including tools available for immediate use as online services, or in a form which which you can download, install, configure and run yourself.
biotoolsSchema defines over 50 important scientific, technical and administrative attributes that support cataloguing, discovery, use and interoperability of software. It concentrates upon the salient common features, with a minimal core of 3 attributes only (name, short description and homepage), to provide maximum flexibility for applications. To enable concise information, standard identifiers are used where possible, including EDAM ontology concept IDs for specialised scientific aspects. biotoolsSchema defines 18 controlled vocabularies for technical tool aspects. Verbose information is referred to by URL.
Documentation (for stable version 3.0.0):
Comprehensive documentation is available:
- Technical docs (built from files under /stable/docs/ )
- General docs (built from files maintained here )
biotoolsSchema together with the EDAM ontology provide the foundation for an information standard for the desription of tools. This standard is being adopted by bio.tools and defines the attributes that must be defined within a 5-tier scale of entry completeness and quality.