U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Submit your project and biological samples


Tack Registering project and biological samples at the NCBI BioProject and the BioSample databases is a prerequisite for any public SRA submission. The BioProject and BioSample databases store data that relate to organizational and biological aspects of sequencing experiments.

Exclamation point If you are making your submission via dbGaP or GEO databases please refer to our dbGaP submission Guide and GEO submission Guide respectively.

Check You can complete both your BioProject as well as BioSample submissions (including batch submissions of biological samples) within the SRA Submission Portal Wizard.

SRA submission wizards with BioProject and BioSamples

BioProject submission describes the goal of the sequencing study, whereas BioSample submission records the nature of the biological material that had been sequenced.

Anatomy of BioProject and BioSample submission
Anatomy of BioProject and BioSample submission

BioProject submissions guidelines

Quick guide

BioProject describes the goal of your research effort. In course of a single study, you may accumulate data that are suitable for submission in multiple NCBI databases. Therefore, you don't have to create a project exclusively for your SRA submission. To be eligible for SRA submission the project (1) must exist; (2) should not be an umbrella project; (3) should not be a RefSeq project. SRA does not have restrictions on the project's data type.

  • Click on the link BioProject on Submission Portal Home page or log in here.
  • Click on the button New submission.
  • Browser-based wizard will help you to create your BioProject submission. In the section Target usually either Organism name or Description are mandatory depending on the Sample scope you provided in Project type section. You don't have to provide BioSample accession(s) or register your sample(s) within the BioProject submission wizard.
  • After finalizing your submission by clicking the Submit button, view all your BioProject submissions and their status at
My BioProject submissions

Exclamation point Use BioProject accession (PRJNA#) for your SRA submission.

Exclamation point In the SRA Submission Portal Wizard, registration of BioProject is simplified and BioProject accession (PRJNA#) is not required for SRA metadata and assigned after the SRA submission is finished.

Tack Registered project becomes STUDY in SRA submission and receives SRA accession in the form SRP#. Use the SRP# accession in your publications for referencing your SRA submissions.

BioSample submissions guidelines

Quick guide

BioSample is a record of biological isolate with unique physical properties. Biological and technical replicates (in most cases) should not be considered unique BioSamples.


  • 23,000 unique 16S amplicons from a single seawater collection point – 1 BioSample (1 sample was collected and then analyzed to deduce 16S diversity)
  • 3 "identical" transgenic mice treated with the same drug as part of an experiment – 1 BioSample
  • CHO cells infected with a virus and sampled at 0, 2, 4, and 8 hours post infection – 4 BioSamples (4 time points)
  • RNA-Seq data from a single male anteater taken from the brain, heart, lungs, testes, and liver – 5 BioSamples (5 different tissues isolated)

Exclamation point Majority of SRA submissions require more than one sample. Make sure that every organism/metagenome, time point, tissue type or treatment type have their own sample.

Tack Select most appropriate taxonomy for organism/metagenome in the NCBI Taxonomy browser. Providing the exact and most specific name for the organism/metagenome will simplify your BioSample submission.

Tack For metagenome or environmental samples look up appropriate taxonomy in the NCBI Taxonomy browser Unspecified sequences taxonomy.

For more information refer to BioSample documentation.

Register samples

  • Click on the link BioSample on Submission Portal Home page or log in here
  • Click on the button New submission.
  • Browser-based wizard will help you to create your BioSample submission:

    • In Submitter section: check your contact information and affiliation;
    • In General information section: (1) indicate release date; (2) specify whether you want to create one or multiple samples (please note that for SRA submission multiple samples are more common);
    • In Sample type section: select most appropriate sample type;
    • In Attributes section: download Excel template, fill it out, convert into tab-delimited text file, and upload the text file by clicking the button Browse and selecting the file on your computer;

      Exclamation point Each sample name must be meaningful and UNIQUE WITHIN YOUR ACCOUNT. Please do not name your samples by names of your sequence data files.

    • In Comment section: provide comment (optional);

    • In Overview section: revise your submission and click the button Submit.

After finalizing your submission by clicking the button Submit, view all your BioSample submissions and their status at

Your BioSample accessions in Submission Portal

Retrieve BioSample accessions

  • Click on the link SUB# to view BioSample submission's overview;
  • Click on Successfully loaded ([number] objects).

Exclamation point Use the BioSample accessions (SAMN#) in your SRA submission.

Tack Registered sample becomes SAMPLE in SRA submission and receives SRA accession in the form SRS#.

Updating BioProject and BioSample data

Exclamation point Regardless of whether you created your project and samples in the SRA Submission Wizard or separately in the BioProject or BioSample databases, contact bioprojecthelp@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov or biosamplehelp@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov for assistance in updating your BioProject or BioSample submission respectively.

Exclamation point When you change the release date of your SRA data in the SRA UI, the release date of your project and samples changes accordingly.

Contact SRA staff

Please email sra@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Support Center

Last updated: 2019-09-20T18:22:57Z