Goble was educated at Maidstone Grammar School for Girls. Her academic career has been spent at the Department of Computer Science where she gained her Bachelor of Science degree in computing and information systems from 1979 to 1982.
Her current research interests include Grid computing, the Semantic Grid, the Semantic Web, Ontologies, e-Science, medical informatics, Bioinformatics, and Research Objects. She applies advances in knowledge technologies and workflow systems to solve information management problems for life scientists and other scientific disciplines. She has successfully secured funding from the European Union, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the US and UK funding agencies including the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Medical Research Council (MRC), the Department of Health, The Open Middleware Infrastructure Institute and the Department of Trade and Industry.
Her work has been published in leading peer reviewed scientific journals including Nucleic Acids Research, Bioinformatics, IEEE Computer, the Journal of Biomedical Semantics, Briefings in Bioinformatics, Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, the Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing conference, the International Journal of Cooperative Information Systems, the Journal of Biomedical Informatics, Nature Genetics and Drug Discovery Today.
Goble joined the University in 1985, and was appointed to a chair in 2000. She is an editorial board member of IEEE Internet Computing, GigaScience, and the International Journal of Web Service Research, and used to be the Editor-in-chief of Elsevier's Journal of Web Semantics.
Goble serves on several committees, which includes the advisory committees of the Science and Technology Facilities Council Physical and Life Sciences advisory committee; the Netherlands Bioinformatics Centre and the European Grid Infrastructure committee.
She was appointed to the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council on 13 June 2013.
She has served on the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Technical Opportunities Panel; the Semantic Web Science Association; the British Library's Content Strategy Advisory Board and the Research Councils UK e-Science Steering Committee. She co-founded Cerebra, an early spin-off company to exploit Semantic Web technologies which has been sold.
Goble was recipient of the first Jim Gray e-Science Award in December 2008. Tony Hey, corporate vice-president of Microsoft External Research who sponsored the award, said Goble was chosen for the award because of her work to help scientists do data-intensive science through the Taverna workbench.
Her work has won best paper awards at the 3rd IEEE International Conference on e-Science and Grid Computing (2007) and the 11th ACM International Conference on Hypertext. In 2002 she was honoured by Sun Microsystems for her significant achievements in advancing Life Science Computing. She has given keynotes in many forums, including international conferences on: Digital curation, e-Social Science, Grid Computing, Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology, Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing, Hypertext and Hypermedia, Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (BOSC), Artificial intelligence, Systems Biology, Discovery Science, the Semantic Web, International World Wide Web Conference and Medical Informatics.
Goble was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to science.
She was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2010.
In January 2018 Goble was awarded the degree of Doctorem (Honoris Causa) by Maastricht University.