Public Hub Guidelines

The Genome Browser provides links to a collection of public hubs that have been registered with UCSC and are available to view on the Public Hubs page. Here are guidelines for those who are trying to make a hub a UCSC public hub. If you have created a hub that meets the requirements and is of general interest to the research community, please contact us at to have it added to the list.

As a reference for interpreting trackDb.txt settings, use the Hub Track Database Definition glossary. For information on using the Track Hub features, refer to the Genome Browser Track Hub User Guide. See also the Basic Hub Quick Start Guide, Quick Start Guide to Organizing Track Hubs into Groupings, Track hub settings blog post, Quick Start Guide to Assembly Hubs and Quick Start Guide to Searchable Track Hubs.


Required Guidelines
Recommended Guidelines
Public Hub Examples

Required Guidelines

The following guidelines must be met before your hub will be added to our public list:

Required for both track and assembly hubs:

Required for only assembly hubs:

Recommended Guidelines

These guidelines in the following sections are recommended to improve user experience, but are not required to be implemented before the hub is added to our list of Public Hubs.

Track organization recommendations

Related tracks can be grouped in a few different ways, namely superTracks, multiWigs, and composites. If your hub includes a large number of tracks, the grouping of tracks may be necessary. This will prevent your hub's track group from being an overwhelming mess of individual tracks and can make user configuration of your tracks easier.

Composite tracks

Related tracks of the same data type (e.g. a set of related bigBed tracks) should be combined into composites where appropriate.

Super tracks

Extremely large hubs may use superTracks as well to achieve a meaningful hierarchy. Super tracks can be used to group together any type of related tracks; for example, you could combine a multiWig, a composite, and a bigBed track together into a single superTrack.

Track display recommendations

Track description page recommendations

Public Hub Examples

Many of the public hubs in the Genome Browser provide excellent examples or templates for creating your own hub. As a reference for interpreting trackDb.txt lines used in these example hubs, please refer to the Hub Track Database Definition glossary.

Some Hub Track Database Definition settings like filters have additional help documentation. Also note that if you are only displaying one genome you can use the useOneFile on setting.

Example Track Hubs

Example 1

The Principal Splice Isoforms APPRIS hub provides a good example of basic hub that includes a few different annotation tracks. Each track includes its own description page and is colored in such a way that distinguishes it from the other tracks in the hub and native track in the UCSC Genome Browser.

Here are some links to their configuration files and some description pages:

Example 2

The Roadmap Epigenomics Integrative Analysis Hub provides a great example of how you might use organize your hub if you have thousands of different tracks. The hub uses composites with dimensions to organize thousands of different tracks across a number of cell lines and uses supertracks to group these tracks even further.

Here are some links to their configuration files and some description pages:

Example Assembly Hub

The C elegans isolates hub provides an excellent example of what your assembly hub could look like. The hub creators provide a detailed description page for each assembly, many different annotations tracks each with their own description page, and clearly defined track groups with those related tracks grouped together.

Here are some links to their configuration files and some description pages: