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The BioSample Database (BioSD) is a database at European Bioinformatics Institute for the information about the biological samples used in sequencing. It stores submitter-supplied metadata about the biological materials from which data stored in the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s (NCBI) primary data archives are derived. NCBI’s archives hosts data pertaining to diverse types of samples from many species, and as such the BioSample database is similarly diverse. Examples of a BioSample include a primary tissue biopsy, an individual organism or an environmental isolate.

The BioSample database captures sample metadata in a structured way by encouraging use of controlled sample attribute field name vocabularies. This metadata is key in giving the sample data context, allowing it to be more fully understood, reused, and enables aggregation of disparate data sets.

Sample metadata is linked to relevant experimental data across many archival databases relieving submitter burden by enabling one-time submission of sample description. They then can reference that sample, when necessary, when making data deposits to other archives.

BioSample records are indexed and searchable, supporting cross-database queries by sample description.