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How to select the right profile for your resource

In this how-to, we will guide you through the necessary steps for you to select a Bioschemas profile that will be later used to add mark up to your own resources

1. Your first encounter with Bioschemas profiles

You can find the availabe Bioschemas profiles at There, you will be presented with a list of all the current and stable profiles, as illustrated on Figure 1. You can hover on the profile name to see a quick description. Should you need a more detailed information, just click on the profile name.

As seen on Figure 1, each profile will show you details such as current version, release date, use cases, crosswalk, tasks and issues, usage examples and current live deploys.

List of some Bioschemas profiles
Figure 1. List of some Bioschemas profiles
  • Use cases: Used as a basis for the profile
  • Crosswalk: Documentation on the brainstorming and process followed by a group in order to come up with a profile specification
  • Tasks & issues: Link to a GitHub space where you can report issues with a profile, see the assignees, and participate of the discussion
  • Example: Usage examples for the profile
  • Live deploys: Link to live deploys for the profile

2. Pick up a profile

Which profile is the right one for you will depend on your resource. Go through the list above, and try to figure out which one most closely matches your use case. If you cannot find any relevant profile, then check out the “Drafts” tab where some new profiles or new profile releases are being discussed.

If you still cannot find any profile suited for your needs, do not hesitate to engage with the community by submitting an issue on Github.

In the next section, we will present some hints on those profiles that have been more broadly used so far, i.e., mainly customizing generic types rather corresponding to specific Life Science entities.

3. A guided tour to some selected Bioschemas profiles

3.1. DataCatalog

Also known as data repository, a data catalog commonly aggregates more than one dataset. If your resource supports only one dataset, you still could decide to markup your resource, in this case, as DataCatalog and also Dataset (this would make it easier if you are thinking of adding more datasets. However, whenever more than one dataset is provided, it totally makes sense to markup your resource as a DataCatalog.

3.2. Dataset

If your resource provides data and you can easily identify a common entity type for all the data contained in it, you should probably go for a Dataset profile. Let’s clarify what we mean by “common type”. Let’s suppose you have chemical compounds including drugs, proteins and cells. If you see them all as the same thing, chemical compound, you have one Dataset, and you have found the right profile for you. However, if you actually distinguish drugs from proteins from cells and so, and (maybe even) tailor the information provided for each case, you have a data catalog and multiple datasets, you should use both, one DataCatalog and multiple Datasets.

3.3. MolecularEntity

When your webpages describe molecules then you can identify them with the MolecularEntity profile. This profile allows you to give details on every molecule separately, unlike with Dataset which describes normally many molecules. The MolecularEntity allows you to specify molecule-specific information like an InChI or InChIKey, IUPAC name, molecular formula, and even the SMILES line notation for the molecule.

3.4. ChemicalSubstance

When the chemical is not a well-defined molecule but, for example, a nanomaterial, then you can annoated them with the ChemicalSubstance profile. This profile allows you to give details on the identifier of the substance and a chemical composition. The profile inherits properties from BioChemEntity, like chemical and biological roles.

Keywords: schemaorg, markup, structured data, bioschemas profile



  • (Markup provider, Markup consumer) People interested in selecting a Bioschemas profile to markup their own data



License: CC-BY 4.0

Version: 2.0

Last Modified: 06 November 2021