GA4GH Beacon specification.
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Beacon API specification

What is a Beacon?

The Beacon project was launched in 2014 to show the willingness of researchers to enable the secure sharing of genomic data from participants of genomic studies. Beacons are web-servers that answer questions such as Does your dataset include a genome that has a specific nucleotide (e.g. G) at a specific genomic coordinate (e.g. Chr.1 position 111,111)? to which the Beacon must respond with yes or no, without referring to a specific individual.


The specification is done in OpenAPI format and it is online in Swagger Hub. The overall design is explained in document.


This project is licensed under the terms of the Apache2.0 license.

How to contribute

Guidelines for contributing to this repository are listed in the document. To introduce new development ideas or enhancements please use this wiki-page.

How to test

Use Swagger Validator Badge to validate the YAML file.


GitHub projects page

All members of the ga4gh-beacon GitHub organisation have access to the projects page.

This page is used to plan and manage the work across the ga4gh-beacon repositories, allowing everyone to see what’s already in motion and to work together without duplicating effort.

More information

More information for developers is available on our wiki. A list of related tools and projects developed by the community is maintained on the Resources page.

Notify GA4GH of potential security flaw in specification

To enable a long-term contact for potential security flaws an email address of has been set up. This email will be monitored by the GA4GH secretariat and GA4GH security members to allow for an incoming response to be directed to appropriate parties.