standards > model/format > DOI:10.25504/FAIRsharing.dp0jvd
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ready Biological Expression Language

Abbreviation: BEL

General Information
BEL is a language for representing scientific findings in the life sciences in a reusable, shareable, and computable form. BEL is designed to represent scientific findings by capturing causal and correlative relationships in context, where context can include information about the biological and experimental system in which the relationships were observed, the supporting publications cited and the process of curation. BEL is intended as a knowledge capture and interchange medium, supporting the operation of systems that integrate knowledge derived from independent efforts. The language is designed to be use-neutral, facilitating the storage and use of structured knowledge for inference by applications through a knowledge assembly process that can create computable biological networks. While BEL does not prescribe any particular assembly process or any particular knowledge format for the output of an assembly process, a suite of software components called the BEL Framework provides everything necessary to create, compile, assemble, and deliver computable knowledge models to BEL-aware applications. The current version of BEL provides the means to describe biological interactions qualitatively but not to quantify the magnitude or rate of these interactions. This limitation is by design because this quantitative information has significant variability and is not consistently reported in the literature. It is our hope that future versions of BEL can accommodate these additional data.


Countries that developed this resource United States

Created in 2003

Taxonomic range


How to cite this record BEL; Biological Expression Language; DOI:; Last edited: April 27, 2021, 8:05 a.m.; Last accessed: Oct 26 2021 4:05 p.m.

This record is maintained by wshayes

Record updated: April 16, 2021, 6:01 p.m. by The FAIRsharing Team.

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Additional Information



Access / Retrieve Data

Conditions of Use

Applies to: Data use Applies to: Database software

Data Release


No publications available

Related Standards

Reporting Guidelines

No guidelines defined

Terminology Artifacts

No semantic standards defined

Models and Formats

No syntax standards defined

Identifier Schemas

No identifier schema standards defined


No metrics standards defined

Related Databases (1)
The Network Data Exchange
NDEx is an online commons where scientists can upload, share, and publicly distribute biological networks and pathway models. The NDEx Project maintains a web-accessible public server, a documentation website, provides seamless connectivity to Cytoscape as well as programmatic access using a variety of languages including Python and Java. NDEx users can easily create accounts or sign in using their Google credentials thanks to the supported open authentication (OAUTH2) method and mint DOIs for their networks to use in publications or include in other resources for long term access.

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Record Maintainer

  • This record is maintained by wshayes