Database Commons

a catalog of biological databases

e.g., animal; RNA; Methylation; China

Database Profile


General information

Full name: European Bioinformatics Institute
Description: EMBL-EBI provides freely available data from life science experiments, performs basic research in computational biology and offers an extensive user training programme, supporting researchers in academia and industry.
Year founded: 1992
Last update:
Real time : Checking...
Country/Region: United Kingdom
Data type:
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Contact information

University/Institution: European Bioinformatics Institute
Address: Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SD, UK
City: Hinxton
Province/State: Cambridge
Country/Region: United Kingdom
Contact name (PI/Team): Mary Todd Bergman
Contact email (PI/Helpdesk):


The European Bioinformatics Institute in 2020: building a global infrastructure of interconnected data resources for the life sciences. [PMID: 31701143]
Cook CE, Stroe O, Cochrane G, Birney E, Apweiler R.

Data resources at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI, archive, organize and provide added-value analysis of research data produced around the world. This year's update for EMBL-EBI focuses on data exchanges among resources, both within the institute and with a wider global infrastructure. Within EMBL-EBI, data resources exchange data through a rich network of data flows mediated by automated systems. This network ensures that users are served with as much information as possible from any search and any starting point within EMBL-EBI's websites. EMBL-EBI data resources also exchange data with hundreds of other data resources worldwide and collectively are a key component of a global infrastructure of interconnected life sciences data resources. We also describe the BioImage Archive, a deposition database for raw images derived from primary research that will supply data for future knowledgebases that will add value through curation of primary image data. We also report a new release of the PRIDE database with an improved technical infrastructure, a new API, a new webpage, and improved data exchange with UniProt and Expression Atlas. Training is a core mission of EMBL-EBI and in 2018 our training team served more users, both in-person and through web-based programmes, than ever before.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2020:48(D1) | 5 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
The European Bioinformatics Institute in 2018: tools, infrastructure and training. [PMID: 30445657]
Cook CE, Lopez R, Stroe O, Cochrane G, Brooksbank C, Birney E, Apweiler R.

The European Bioinformatics Institute ( archives, curates and analyses life sciences data produced by researchers throughout the world, and makes these data available for re-use globally ( Data volumes continue to grow exponentially: total raw storage capacity now exceeds 160 petabytes, and we manage these increasing data flows while maintaining the quality of our services. This year we have improved the efficiency of our computational infrastructure and doubled the bandwidth of our connection to the worldwide web. We report two new data resources, the Single Cell Expression Atlas (, which is a component of the Expression Atlas; and the PDBe-Knowledgebase (, which collates functional annotations and predictions for structure data in the Protein Data Bank. Additionally, Europe PMC ( has added preprint abstracts to its search results, supplementing results from peer-reviewed publications. EMBL-EBI maintains over 150 analytical bioinformatics tools that complement our data resources. We make these tools available for users through a web interface as well as programmatically using application programming interfaces, whilst ensuring the latest versions are available for our users. Our training team, with support from all of our staff, continued to provide on-site, off-site and web-based training opportunities for thousands of researchers worldwide this year.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2019:47(D1) | 8 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
The European Bioinformatics Institute in 2017: data coordination and integration. [PMID: 29186510]
Cook CE, Bergman MT, Cochrane G, Apweiler R, Birney E.

The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) supports life-science research throughout the world by providing open data, open-source software and analytical tools, and technical infrastructure ( We accommodate an increasingly diverse range of data types and integrate them, so that biologists in all disciplines can explore life in ever-increasing detail. We maintain over 40 data resources, many of which are run collaboratively with partners in 16 countries ( Submissions continue to increase exponentially: our data storage has doubled in less than two years to 120 petabytes. Recent advances in cellular imaging and single-cell sequencing techniques are generating a vast amount of high-dimensional data, bringing to light new cell types and new perspectives on anatomy. Accordingly, one of our main focus areas is integrating high-quality information from bioimaging, biobanking and other types of molecular data. This is reflected in our deep involvement in Open Targets, stewarding of plant phenotyping standards (MIAPPE) and partnership in the Human Cell Atlas data coordination platform, as well as the 2017 launch of the Omics Discovery Index. This update gives a birds-eye view of EMBL-EBI's approach to data integration and service development as genomics begins to enter the clinic.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2018:46(D1) | 18 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
The European Bioinformatics Institute in 2016: Data growth and integration. [PMID: 26673705]
Cook CE, Cook CE, Bergman MT, Finn RD, Cochrane G, Birney E, Apweiler R.

New technologies are revolutionising biological research and its applications by making it easier and cheaper to generate ever-greater volumes and types of data. In response, the services and infrastructure of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI, are continually expanding: total disk capacity increases significantly every year to keep pace with demand (75 petabytes as of December 2015), and interoperability between resources remains a strategic priority. Since 2014 we have launched two new resources: the European Variation Archive for genetic variation data and EMPIAR for two-dimensional electron microscopy data, as well as a Resource Description Framework platform. We also launched the Embassy Cloud service, which allows users to run large analyses in a virtual environment next to EMBL-EBI's vast public data resources. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2016:44(D1) | 41 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
The European Bioinformatics Institute's data resources 2014. [PMID: 24271396]
Brooksbank C, Bergman MT, Apweiler R, Birney E, Thornton J.

Molecular Biology has been at the heart of the 'big data' revolution from its very beginning, and the need for access to biological data is a common thread running from the 1965 publication of Dayhoff's 'Atlas of Protein Sequence and Structure' through the Human Genome Project in the late 1990s and early 2000s to today's population-scale sequencing initiatives. The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI; is one of three organizations worldwide that provides free access to comprehensive, integrated molecular data sets. Here, we summarize the principles underpinning the development of these public resources and provide an overview of EMBL-EBI's database collection to complement the reviews of individual databases provided elsewhere in this issue.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2014:42(Database issue) | 33 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
The European Bioinformatics Institute's data resources. [PMID: 19934258]
Brooksbank C, Cameron G, Thornton J.

The wide uptake of next-generation sequencing and other ultra-high throughput technologies by life scientists with a diverse range of interests, spanning fundamental biological research, medicine, agriculture and environmental science, has led to unprecedented growth in the amount of data generated. It has also put the need for unrestricted access to biological data at the centre of biology. The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) is unique in Europe and is one of only two organisations worldwide providing access to a comprehensive, integrated set of these collections. Here, we describe how the EMBL-EBI's biomolecular databases are evolving to cope with increasing levels of submission, a growing and diversifying user base, and the demand for new types of data. All of the resources described here can be accessed from the EMBL-EBI website:

Nucleic Acids Res. 2010:38(Database issue) | 21 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
The European Bioinformatics Institute's data resources: towards systems biology. [PMID: 15608238]
Brooksbank C, Cameron G, Thornton J.

Genomic and post-genomic biological research has provided fine-grain insights into the molecular processes of life, but also threatens to drown biomedical researchers in data. Moreover, as new high-throughput technologies are developed, the types of data that are gathered en masse are diversifying. The need to collect, store and curate all this information in ways that allow its efficient retrieval and exploitation is greater than ever. The European Bioinformatics Institute's (EBI's) databases and tools have evolved to meet the changing needs of molecular biologists: since we last wrote about our services in the 2003 issue of Nucleic Acids Research, we have launched new databases covering protein-protein interactions (IntAct), pathways (Reactome) and small molecules (ChEBI). Our existing core databases have continued to evolve to meet the changing needs of biomedical researchers, and we have developed new data-access tools that help biologists to move intuitively through the different data types, thereby helping them to put the parts together to understand biology at the systems level. The EBI's data resources are all available on our website at

Nucleic Acids Res. 2005:33(Database issue) | 51 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
The European Bioinformatics Institute's data resources. [PMID: 12519944]
Brooksbank C, Camon E, Harris MA, Magrane M, Martin MJ, Mulder N, O'Donovan C, Parkinson H, Tuli MA, Apweiler R, Birney E, Brazma A, Henrick K, Lopez R, Stoesser G, Stoehr P, Cameron G.

As the amount of biological data grows, so does the need for biologists to store and access this information in central repositories in a free and unambiguous manner. The European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) hosts six core databases, which store information on DNA sequences (EMBL-Bank), protein sequences (SWISS-PROT and TrEMBL), protein structure (MSD), whole genomes (Ensembl) and gene expression (ArrayExpress). But just as a cell would be useless if it couldn't transcribe DNA or translate RNA, our resources would be compromised if each existed in isolation. We have therefore developed a range of tools that not only facilitate the deposition and retrieval of biological information, but also allow users to carry out searches that reflect the interconnectedness of biological information. The EBI's databases and tools are all available on our website at

Nucleic Acids Res. 2003:31(1) | 28 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
The EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database. [PMID: 11752244]
Stoesser G, Baker W, van den Broek A, Camon E, Garcia-Pastor M, Kanz C, Kulikova T, Leinonen R, Lin Q, Lombard V, Lopez R, Redaschi N, Stoehr P, Tuli MA, Tzouvara K, Vaughan R.

The EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database (aka EMBL-Bank; incorporates, organises and distributes nucleotide sequences from all available public sources. EMBL-Bank is located and maintained at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) near Cambridge, UK. In an international collaboration with DDBJ (Japan) and GenBank (USA), data are exchanged amongst the collaborating databases on a daily basis. Major contributors to the EMBL database are individual scientists and genome project groups. Webin is the preferred web-based submission system for individual submitters, whilst automatic procedures allow incorporation of sequence data from large-scale genome sequencing centres and from the European Patent Office (EPO). Database releases are produced quarterly. Network services allow free access to the most up-to-date data collection via FTP, email and World Wide Web interfaces. EBI's Sequence Retrieval System (SRS), a network browser for databanks in molecular biology, integrates and links the main nucleotide and protein databases plus many other specialized databases. For sequence similarity searching, a variety of tools (e.g. Blitz, Fasta, BLAST) are available which allow external users to compare their own sequences against the latest data in the EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database and SWISS-PROT. All resources can be accessed via the EBI home page at

Nucleic Acids Res. 2002:30(1) | 72 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
The European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) databases. [PMID: 8594602]
Rodriguez-Tomé P, Stoehr PJ, Cameron GN, Flores TP.

The European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) maintains and distributes the EMBL Nucleotide Sequence database, Europe's primary nucleotide sequence data resource. The EBI also maintains and distributes the SWISS-PROT Protein Sequence database, in collaboration with Amos Bairoch of the University of Geneva. Over fifty additional specialist molecular biology databases, as well as software and documentation of interest to molecular biologists are available. The EBI network services include database searching and sequence similarity searching facilities.

Nucleic Acids Res. 1996:24(1) | 49 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
The European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) databases. [PMID: 7937043]
Emmert DB, Stoehr PJ, Stoesser G, Cameron GN.

This paper describes the databases and services of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI). In collaboration with DDBJ and GenBank/NCBI, the EBI maintains and distributes the EMBL Nucleotide Sequence Database, Europe's primary nucleotide sequence data resource. The EBI also maintains and distributes the SWISS-PROT Protein Sequence Database, in collaboration with Amos Bairoch of the University of Geneva. Over thirty additional specialist molecular biology databases, as well as software and documentation of interest to molecular biologists, are also available. The EBI network services include database searching, entry retrieval, and sequence similarity searching facilities.

Nucleic Acids Res. 1994:22(17) | 45 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)


All databases:
628/5061 (87.611%)
Health and medicine:
129/1067 (88.004%)
106/924 (88.636%)
108/771 (86.122%)
52/384 (86.719%)
32/349 (91.117%)
Genotype phenotype and variation:
75/705 (89.504%)
Standard ontology and nomenclature:
40/204 (80.882%)
71/700 (90%)
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Record metadata

Created on: 2016-01-03
Curated by:
Zhang Zhang [2020-09-11]
Lina Ma [2016-04-07]
Jian Sang [2016-04-04]
Zhang Zhang [2016-01-18]
lin liu [2016-01-12]
Zhang Zhang [2016-01-03]