Training & Tutorials


NCBI C++ Toolkit Manual

A comprehensive manual on the NCBI C++ toolkit, including its design and development framework, a C++ library reference, software examples and demos, FAQs and release notes. The manual is searchable online and can be downloaded as a series of PDF documents.

Provides links to tutorials and training materials, including PowerPoint slides and print handouts.

NCBI Glossary

Part of the NCBI Handbook, this glossary contains descriptions of NCBI tools and acronyms, bioinformatics terms and data representation formats.

An extensive collection of articles about NCBI databases and software. Designed for a novice user, each article presents a general overview of the resource and its design, along with tips for searching and using available analysis tools. All articles can be searched online and downloaded in PDF format; the handbook can be accessed through the NCBI Bookshelf.

Accessed through the NCBI Bookshelf, the Help Manual contains documentation for many NCBI resources, including PubMed, PubMed Central, the Entrez system, Gene, SNP and LinkOut. All chapters can be downloaded in PDF format.

NCBI Website Search

A database of static NCBI web pages, documentation, and online tools. These pages include such content as specialized online sequence analysis tools, back issues of newsletters, legacy resource description pages, sample code, and other miscellaneous resources. Searching this database is equivalent to a site search tool for the whole NCBI web site, with the exception of the FTP directories.


FTP: NCBI Field Guide Manual

Downloadable material for NCBI's previously offered Field Guide training course.

FTP: NCBI Structure Course Materials

PowerPoint slides, handouts and exercises for the previously offered NCBI course "Exploring 3D Molecular Structures."

NCBI Data Specifications

Specifications for NCBI data in ASN.1 or DTD format are available on the Index of data_specs page. The "NCBI_data_conversion.html" links to the conversion tool.

National Library of Medicine (NLM) DTDs

A suite of tag sets for authoring and archiving journal articles as well as transferring journal articles from publishers to archives and between archives. There are four tag sets: Archiving and Interchange Tag Set - Created to enable an archive to capture as many of the structural and semantic components of existing printed and tagged journal material as conveniently as possible; Journal Publishing Tag Set - Optimized for archives that wish to regularize and control their content, not to accept the sequence and arrangement presented to them by any particular publisher; Article Authoring Tag Set - Designed for authoring new journal articles; NCBI Book Tag Set - Written specifically to describe volumes for the NCBI online libraries.


Amino Acid Explorer

This tool allows users to explore the characteristics of amino acids by comparing their structural and chemical properties, predicting protein sequence changes caused by mutations, viewing common substitutions, and browsing the functions of given residues in conserved domains.

BLAST Tutorials and Guides

This page links to a number of BLAST-related tutorials and guides, including a selection guide for BLAST algorithms, descriptions of BLAST output formats, explanations of the parameters for stand-alone BLAST, directions for setting up stand-alone BLAST on local machines and using the BLAST URL API.

Coffee Break

Part of the NCBI Bookshelf, Coffee Break combines reports on recent biomedical discoveries with use of NCBI tools. Each report incorporates interactive tutorials that show how NCBI bioinformatics tools are used as a part of the research process.


This interactive tool allows users to build E-utility URLs, either from a form or by hand, and then view their raw output. The tool provides a simple environment for testing E-utility URLs before including them in applications.


A tool that allows users to construct an E-utility analysis pipeline using an online form, and then generates a Perl script to execute the pipeline.

Provides information on new and updated resources and NCBI research and development projects. The News site contains feature articles highlighting services, resource features and tools, as well as frequent postings describing important announcements regarding key datasets and services of interest to the user community. Links to NCBI's social media sites along and a list of available RSS feeds and Email listservs are provided.

PSSM Viewer

Allows users to display, sort, subset and download position-specific score matrices (PSSMs) either from CDD records or from Position Specific Iterated (PSI)-BLAST protein searches. The tool also can align a query protein to the PSSM and highlight positions of high conservation.

PubMed Tutorials

A collection of web and flash tutorials on PubMed searching and linking, saving searches in MyNCBI, using MeSH and other PubMed services.