BioSharing: curated and crowd-sourced metadata standards, databases and data policies in the life sciences

Database (Oxford). 2016 May 17:2016:baw075. doi: 10.1093/database/baw075. Print 2016.


BioSharing ( is a manually curated, searchable portal of three linked registries. These resources cover standards (terminologies, formats and models, and reporting guidelines), databases, and data policies in the life sciences, broadly encompassing the biological, environmental and biomedical sciences. Launched in 2011 and built by the same core team as the successful MIBBI portal, BioSharing harnesses community curation to collate and cross-reference resources across the life sciences from around the world. BioSharing makes these resources findable and accessible (the core of the FAIR principle). Every record is designed to be interlinked, providing a detailed description not only on the resource itself, but also on its relations with other life science infrastructures. Serving a variety of stakeholders, BioSharing cultivates a growing community, to which it offers diverse benefits. It is a resource for funding bodies and journal publishers to navigate the metadata landscape of the biological sciences; an educational resource for librarians and information advisors; a publicising platform for standard and database developers/curators; and a research tool for bench and computer scientists to plan their work. BioSharing is working with an increasing number of journals and other registries, for example linking standards and databases to training material and tools. Driven by an international Advisory Board, the BioSharing user-base has grown by over 40% (by unique IP address), in the last year thanks to successful engagement with researchers, publishers, librarians, developers and other stakeholders via several routes, including a joint RDA/Force11 working group and a collaboration with the International Society for Biocuration. In this article, we describe BioSharing, with a particular focus on community-led curation.Database URL:

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Science Disciplines* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Biological Science Disciplines* / standards
  • Computational Biology
  • Crowdsourcing / standards*
  • Database Management Systems* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Database Management Systems* / standards
  • Databases, Factual* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Databases, Factual* / standards
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Metadata / standards*
  • Registries / standards
  • User-Computer Interface