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Page Contents
2. Sources
3. Data

1. Introduction

Chemical Entities of Biological Interest (ChEBI) is a freely available dictionary of molecular entities focused on ‘small’ chemical compounds. The term ‘molecular entity’ refers to any constitutionally or isotopically distinct atom, molecule, ion, ion pair, radical, radical ion, complex, conformer, etc., identifiable as a separately distinguishable entity. The molecular entities in question are either products of nature or synthetic products used to intervene in the processes of living organisms.

ChEBI incorporates an ontological classification, whereby the relationships between molecular entities or classes of entities and their parents and/or children are specified.

ChEBI uses nomenclature, symbolism and terminology endorsed by the following international scientific bodies:

Molecules directly encoded by the genome (e.g. nucleic acids, proteins and peptides derived from proteins by cleavage) are not as a rule included in ChEBI.

All data in the database is non-proprietary or is derived from a non-proprietary source. It is thus freely accessible and available to anyone. In addition, each data item is fully traceable and explicitly referenced to the original source.

The data on this website is available under the Creative Commons License (CC BY 4.0).

2. Sources

In order to create ChEBI, data from a number of sources were incorporated and subjected to merging procedures to eliminate redundancy.

Four of the main sources from which the data are drawn are:

Other data sources are listed in the Reference Manual.

3. Data

ChEBI shows the following data fields:

In addition, a separate page called 'Automatic Xrefs' contains automatically generated cross-references to a number of biological and chemical databases.

4. Publication

To cite ChEBI:

Hastings J, Owen G, Dekker A, Ennis M, Kale N, Muthukrishnan V, Turner S, Swainston N, Mendes P, Steinbeck C. (2016). ChEBI in 2016: Improved services and an expanding collection of metabolites. Nucleic Acids Res.

Other publications:

5. Acknowledgements

ChEBI was funded by BBSRC, grant agreement number BB/K019783/1 within the "Bioinformatics and biological resources" fund.

Previous funding:

In addition we would like to acknowledge the following software support.