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XML Schemas


The SRA uses a system of XML documents to describe metadata and to handle submissions and downloads. These documents are specified in the XML schemas mentioned in this section, and have been developed in collaboration with INSDC partners at EBI and DDBJ.

The XML schemas do not constitute a specification of the SRA. Some features suggested by the schema are not yet implemented in the business layer, and some requirements by the business layer are not reflected in the schemas. In particular, every document submitted to the SRA must have an alias, but this is not required at the level of the schema.

SRA schemas are undergoing continual development. It is possible some schema versions are incompatible with others. So far this has not happened. However, a period of announcement and public comment will precede any change that invalidates previously valid documents. Please monitor this page for changes if they may affect your usage or submissions of SRA XML documents. You can retrieve schema documents as release "SRA" or as a version, for example, "SRA_1-5".

Current Production Release Files

This set of schema is provisioned on the public web site and can be used to validate XML documents submitted to the SRA.

  1. SRA Common
  2. SRA Submission
  3. SRA Study
  4. SRA Sample
  5. SRA Experiment
  6. SRA Run
  7. SRA Analysis

List of Releases

Release Active? Effective Date Description
Production release 1.5 yes 2013-03-08 Current production release of SRA XML Schema version 1.5.
Production release 1.4 yes 2012-07-24 Production release of SRA XML Schema version 1.4. See Release Notes.
Production release 1.3 no 2011-08-10 Production release of SRA XML Schema version 1.3. See Release Notes.
Production release 1.2 no 2010-11-01 Production release of SRA XML Schema version 1.2. See Release Notes.
Production release 1.1 no 2010-01-22 Production release of SRA XML Schema version 1.1. See Release Notes.
Production release 1.0 no 2009-04-09 Production release of SRA XML Schema version 1.0 See Release Notes.
Provisional release 0.8 no 2008-12-02 This deployment was used to support Experiment TITLE and to upgrade certain choices.
Provisional release 0.7 no 2008-06-01 Longtime valid schema for Provisional SRA.
Provisional release 0.5 no 2007-09-01 First schema package to be used in construction of SRA submissions.

How To Download Schema Files

  1. You can obtain a copy of the file from the NCBI public SVN server (this page).
  2. Or, you can use the unix/linux wget utility:
    wget -O

How to Validate XML Files

  1. You can use the downloaded schema file (.xsd) and validate your xml document from within your XML editor.
  2. Or, you can run the unix/linux utility xmllint:
    xmllint --schema > /dev/null

View History of Changes

View the history of major releases and updates using the diff button on NCBI's public SVN server.