BioSearch: a semantic search engine for Bio2RDF

Wei Hu*, Honglei Qiu, Jiacheng Huang, Michel Dumontier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Biomedical data are growing at an incredible pace and require substantial expertise to organize data in a manner that makes them easily findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. Massive effort has been devoted to using Semantic Web standards and technologies to create a network of Linked Data for the life sciences, among others. However, while these data are accessible through programmatic means, effective user interfaces for non-experts to SPARQL endpoints are few and far between. Contributing to user frustrations is that data are not necessarily described using common vocabularies, thereby making it difficult to aggregate results, especially when distributed across multiple SPARQL endpoints. We propose BioSearch - a semantic search engine that uses ontologies to enhance federated query construction and organize search results. BioSearch also features a simplified query interface that allows users to optionally filter their keywords according to classes, properties and datasets. User evaluation demonstrated that BioSearch is more effective and usable than two state of the art search and browsing solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalDatabase-The Journal of Biological Databases and Curation
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2017


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