Finding Web Services which provide access to a particular analysis tool or data resource can be difficult. While web search engines (e.g. Google or Bing) can find web interfaces to such services they often fail to find the Web Service documentation. This problem is being addressed by the development of Web Services registries.
Many organisations or project provide lists of their Web Services. For example:
While these lists are useful, they do not cover the universe of Web Services, and give a restricted view of the Web Services available. So a number of projects are collecting and annotating Web Services in the life sciences to give a broader view. For example:
As well as domain specific registries there are a number which are collating information about web services in any domain. For example:
1) Kwon Y., Shigemoto Y., Kuwana Y. and Sugawara H (2009)
Web API for biology with a workflow navigation system.
Nucleic Acids Res. 37:W11-6; DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkp300; PubMed: 19417067
2) McWilliam H., Valentin F., Goujon M., Li W., Narayanasamy M., Martin J., Miyar T. and Lopez R. (2009)
Web services at the European Bioinformatics Institute - 2009
Nucleic Acids Res. 37:W6-W10; DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkp302; PubMed: 19435877
3) Shuichi Kawashima, Toshiaki Katayama, Yoko Sato and Minoru Kanehisa (2003)
KEGG API: A Web Service Using SOAP/WSDL to Access the KEGG System
Genome Informatics 14:673-674; Full text: PDF
4) Bhagat J., Tanoh F., Nzuobontane E., Laurent T., Orlowski J., Roos M., Wolstencroft K., Aleksejevs S., Stevens R., Pettifer S., Lopez R. and Goble C.A. (2010)
BioCatalogue: a universal catalogue of web services for the life sciences.
Nucleic acids research, 38:W689-94; DOI 10.1093/nar/gkq394; PubMed 20484378
6) Prlić A., Down T.A., Kulesha E., Finn R.D., Kähäri A. and Hubbard T.J. (2007)
Integrating sequence and structural biology with DAS.
BMC Bioinformatics 8:333; DOI: 10.1186/1471-2105-8-333; PubMed: 17850653
7) Dowell R.D., Jokerst R.M., Day A., Eddy S.R. and Stein L. (2001)
The distributed annotation system.
BMC Bioinformatics 2:7; DOI: 10.1186/1471-2105-2-7; PMID: 11667947
9) The BioMoby Consortium (2008)
Interoperability with Moby 1.0 — It’s better than sharing your toothbrush!
Briefings in Bioinformatics, 9(3):220-231; DOI: 10.1093/bib/bbn003; PubMed: 18238804