BioCompute Logo

The BioCompute Standard

The main goal of the BioCompute project is to build and maintain a formal standard through recognized, accredited standards setting organizations like the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the International Standards Organization (ISO). A formal, consensus-based standard builds predictability and even more stability into the way in which bioinformatic methods are communicated.

The standard, officially known as 2791-2020, has two parts: the standards document and the schema, which is maintained in an open source repository:

  • The current version of the standard can be found here.
  • The schema can be found here.

Since the base BioCompute schema is maintained as an open source repository, it can be cloned and integrated into an organization in unique ways, which allows organizations to build off of this schema to create dependent standards for specific applications. This is similar to the different versions of WiFi based on usage, such as the 802.11a standard for fast speed, but high cost and shorter range, or the 802.11b for slower top speed, but lower cost, etc. — all of which are built on the 802.11 base standard. It can also be used to further extend the schema, such as for handling proprietary, internal content, while still being compatible with the base standard. The open source schema also enables individuals or organizations to suggest changes to be incorporated into future versions the standard.


This standard was originaly prepared by The BioCompute Object working group during preparation for the 2017 HTS Computational Standards for Regulatory Sciences Workshop.

To reference the BCO standards, please use the following citation inclusive of the DOI:

Simonyan, V., Goecks, J., & Mazumder, R. (2017). Biocompute Objects — A Step towards Evaluation and Validation of Biomedical Scientific Computations. PDA Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, 71(2), 136–146. doi: 10.5731/pdajpst.2016.006734

Support, Community and Contributing

To suggest changes to this repository we welcome contributions as a pull request or issue submission.

BCO_Specification is licensed under the BSD 3-Clause “New” or “Revised” License

A permissive license similar to the BSD 2-Clause License, but with a 3rd clause that prohibits others from using the name of the project or its contributors to promote derived products without written consent.