Data Services

Data services are available for substantially everything you see in the EOL web interface. For most content, there are multiple methods available; which service you choose will depend on your use case. On-demand JSON output is provided by our classic APIs (taxonomy, media and text) or the new structured data API (taxonomy, ecological interactions, and organism attributes). The structured data service currently requires a key and we ask that you observe query rate limits for both (see our robots.txt file). If you have a large scale use case, and either your work can be done offline or caching data is an option for you, a bulk data download may suit your purposes better.

If you have been using the classic APIs (ping, pages, search, collections, data objects) service should be uninterrupted.

If you have been using the experimental JSON-LD service for attribute data, this service is no longer supported. We encourage you to check out the new structured data API, which is fully supported and more configurable.

If you are an individual user interested in a somewhat narrow dataset such as “all body size data for bears” or “a list of Arctic species ” these can be downloaded as TSV from our search interface . Currently, an EOL user account is required.

A reminder: Ownership of any copyrightable content on EOL rests with the content partner, and detailed attribution and license information (where applicable) is always available. Please see our Terms of Use and API Terms of Use for more details about re-use of content hosted by EOL.


Structured Data
: This service provides access to EOL taxa, ecological interactions and organism attributes, which are modeled as nodes, node properties, and relationships in a property graph. Queries are in the Cypher language. Sample queries are available. 

Helpful widgets: If you're experimenting with the structured data API and you have an EOL account, contact us per the instructions on the API page to enable this Cypher query webform, if you'd like to test queries in your browser. 

Classic APIs
are available for other EOL content

  • Search: This service returns an EOL taxon ID to a query by taxon name string. Filters are available to help avoid homonym errors. 
  • Collections: This service returns all metadata about a collection and the items it contains, to a query by collection ID. Filters are available by object type and sort by object metadata.
  • Pages: This service returns the scientific name for a page, to a query by EOL page ID. It optionally returns some data about page content: common names, text, images, and references to the hierarchies which recognize the taxon described on the page.

Data downloads

Downloadable files are hosted in the EOL Open Data portal. You are welcome to browse. Several large categories of data are available here, including the resource files provided to EOL by our content partners, the source files underlying our default classification, the EOL Dynamic Hierarchy, and aggregate datasets spanning all or significant parts of EOL.

OpenRefine Data Reconciliation

Users of OpenRefine can use the reconciliation tool to match organism names- scientific or vernacular names for species or higher taxa- to their identifier and page in EOL, eg: "Enhydra lutris" to https://eol.org/pages/46559130. OpenRefine can reconcile based only on the name, or you can provide additional information, if you have it, to help narrow it down to the correct match, using the properties "rank" (the rank of the taxon name you're trying to match, if it has one) or "ancestor" (any ancestral group within which your taxon is found; for the sea otter this could be Mustelidae, Carnivora, Mammalia, etc.) The OpenRefine reconciliation tool is described in their documentation, and this video tutorial. The EOL reconciliation API is at https://eol.org/api/reconciliation.

Food web JSON

This is a service we use natively to support the trophic web visualization. It caches the results of several cypher queries, producing a sample of prey, predators and competitors of the species. It is documented here.

Autogenerated Text

The autogenerated text summaries shown on taxon pages can be accessed via the API described here.