RIKEN MetaDatabase Service

Database Site URL: http://metadb.riken.jp

This service is an experimental service.
Please read carefully the terms of use before application.


Service Overview

In the field of life sciences, various research results are published on the Internet as a database. However, it has become clear that researchers do not sufficiently understand “the types of databases available, where to find them, and how to use them”  in a survey given to RIKEN researchers. In order to improve the efficiency of utilization of research results, introducing data to explain data (metadata) is effective. For example, metadata of the image data include the shooting date, the creator, the object, the camera, and so on. Metadata of databases include the creator, the URL, the biological object, etc. These are the data that describe published data and databases. Metadata are used to explain of complicated and diverse data in the life sciences. Major life-science research organizations in the world have already started to publish metadata and they are starting to be used for high-level data analysis.   Further, metadata are used for collaborative research, data sharing and data integration between research organizations.

Database service for life sciences is a service to support the publication of life-science data based on global standardized metadata technologies including semantic web and Resource Description Framework (RDF).   Further, by providing a “database catalogue” that collects metadata of RIKEN’s databases, namely a telephone directory function of databases, this service allows researchers inside and outside RIKEN to discover easily the location of database and data published by RIKEN.

 Contents of service

  1. Database catalogue service

This is a publication service of database metadata generated by researchers who have already published and/or will publish their original databases.   This service collects such metadata as a RIKEN database catalogue, and publicizes (i.e., by allowing viewing and downloading) the catalogue to the world.
The license referred to as the RIKEN database catalogue is Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org/) Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA).

  1. Metadatabase publication service

This is a service to publish metadata describing researchers’ own research data including phenotype and characteristic data, based on semantic web as a global standard.   This service receives researcher’s (data publisher’s) metadata, and registers the metadata as a database.   This service provides a function for viewing, searching and downloading data in a table and graph format based on data schemes such as data classes on a web browser.
The license applying to each database is Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org/) Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA).
This metadata publication service automatically includes the database catalogue service.

Use of service

Application is necessary for the use of this service. Please contact to the person in charge for the application directly.  (accc-support@riken.jp)

The flow from metadata creation to publication after the application will be explained below.   The explanation below is common for
1. database catalogue service and
2. metadatabase publication service.

Creating metadata Metadata of research data and databases can be created on a globally standardized format.  This service allows direct input if the metadata is written in the RDF format. In addition, this service provides a template in the Microsoft Excel file format which allows users to easily fill in their data.   By completing the template with the necessary description and sending it to this service, metadata are generated.   Publication of metadata The metadata can be viewed and searched via a graphical user interface (GUI) in a table format via a web browser.   Further, the metadata can be published as downloadable data in a globally standardized RDF format.


Please contact to the person in charge for the application directly.  (accc-support@riken.jp)

Terms of use

This service is provided as an experimental service for the time being. The terms of use described below applies, in addition to the terms of use for the RIKEN cloud experimental service.

  • A RIKEN employee with a RIKEN ID starting with a number is permitted to use this service.
  • ACCC may not be able to repair any defects that may be encountered when using this service.   The service is free of charge. ACCC may ask users to submit a use report.
  • Computer resources are limited since this is an experimental service. An application with large-scale metadata may not be accepted.


This service is developed and promoted to improve active distribution and utilization of RIKEN’s research data, based on suggestions by the database working group of the bioinformatics investigative commission.   In order to achieve interoperability on life-sciences data, it is strongly recommended that the metadata are generated based on globally standardized vocabularies and the data structure is standardized among research communities.   Therefore, a user may be advised or asked to edit the user’s metadata from the viewpoint of data interoperability by the database working group and others.