Bios Biological database of the Fisheries Research Institute of Slovenia

BIOS is the back-end database infrastructure for scientific and research work carried out by the Fisheries Research Institute of Slovenia. It uses open-source software and is designed to enable storage of biotic and abiotic parameters associated with marine and freshwater fisheries.

The acronym BIOS, which is a Latin spelling of the Greek word βίος, meaning life, is used to denote the biological database of the Fisheries Research Institute of Slovenia.

Chronology of database development


The beginnings of BIOS date back to 1995. Bojan Marčeta, employed at the time with the National Institute of Biology, began to develop a single-user database for fisheries biological data. In 2003 marine fisheries biology was transferred from the National Institute of Biology to the Fisheries Research Institute of Slovenia, and this new scientific environment was of key importance for the further development of BIOS.


Slovenia’s membership in the EU brought about new requirements concerning the collection and processing of biological data in the field of marine fisheries biology. Various specific data sampling and collection protocols had to be observed, and we wished to maintain all these data in a single database. The author of BIOS developed a new data model which allowed for data to be sorted on the basis of specific sampling protocols into separate data series, thereby enabling storage of data collected through different studies. However, despite the new data model, BIOS continued to be a single-user database only containing marine fisheries data. In order to provide for the good functioning of expert services, a multi-user database had to be developed which also needed to include the data about freshwater fisheries.


At the end of 2007, Dejan Pehar, Director of the Fisheries Research Institute, backed up the vision of the Institute’s Research Services to establish a common biological database. This was the milestone that marks the beginning of a new era of BIOS. First, BIOS was moved from a PC to a central server. Then, a web application was developed for database administration and data entry. Bojan Marčeta designed a universal web data entry application which enables fast and cost-effective adaptation of entry forms to new sampling protocols.

On 4 March 2009, BIOS moved from the development environment to production. At that time, it already contained the complete marine fisheries data, the web application was running, and the preparations for the entry of freshwater fisheries data were underway.

After 2010

At the end of 2009 began the online entry of freshwater fisheries data. In 2012 older freshwater fisheries data, which had previously been stored in electronic spreadsheets, were also transferred to BIOS. Gradually, BIOS has grown to a level when it contains all data obtained from our field work. The data are available to the staff and collaborators of the Institute, and a part of the aggregate data is also publicly available on our web page BiosWeb.

The development of BIOS is an ongoing work. In 2009 fish tagging data were included, and two years later BIOS was entered into field of GIS with telemetric fish monitoring. In the future, however, the development of BIOS will depend on two main factors: on the nature of the Institute’s scientific and research activities on the one hand, and on the investment funding available on the other.

More on BiosWeb

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