Contribute and Access Controlled Data

Contributing Data

You must be a Certified User to contribute data to Synapse. You are responsible for determining if the data you would like to contribute is Controlled Use and therefore requires Conditions for Use. Carefully consider the specific risks and appropriate protections required before sharing your data.

If there are no ethical, legal or regulatory reasons to impose Conditions for Use, the data can be used for any lawful research purpose. All human data shared in Synapse, with or without Conditions for Use, must be de-identified according to HIPAA standards and comply with all applicable privacy laws and regulations. Guidance on de-identification according to HIPAA rules can be found here.

Conditions for Use can be set at the Project, Folder, or File/Table level. We recommend grouping Files that require the same Conditions for Use in a dedicated Folder within your Project. For more information about setting Conditions for Use please see Access Controls and Data Governance.

Accessing Data

Both Registered and Certified users can view, download, and use Open Data (data that does not have Conditions for Use.)

How do you access data with Conditions for Use?

To access Controlled Data (data with Conditions for Use), you must fulfill the Conditions for Use set by the data contributor. On the specific File/Table's page, click on the orange Show unmet conditions box in the center of the header. This will open a dialog box with directions on how to meet the Conditions for Use for the File/Table (see example, below). In many cases, access requires that you read and agree to data-specific terms electronically in a clickwrap contract. Occasionally, access to Controlled Data requires additional steps, like having your analysis plan approved by an ethics board or IRB.

synapse logo Warning: Controlled Data may not be redistributed.

Each Synapse user wishing to access Controlled Data must individually agree to the Conditions for Use to access that data.

Accessing Bridge Data

Synapse houses Bridge data, data collected through research apps. This data has been donated by thousands of volunteers from around the world. Bridge data is only accessible to Users with a Validated Profile. To learn more see Synapse User Credentials.

synapse logo Warning: Bridge data may not be redistributed.

Each Synapse user wishing to access Bridge data must individually agree to the Conditions for Use.

Flagging Inappropriate Data Use

Any human data shared in Synapse, with or without Conditions for Use, must be de-identified according to HIPAA Standards and all applicable privacy laws and regulations [see Contributing Data, above]. If you believe data made available in Synapse has been posted with inappropriate Conditions for Use contact the ACT at act@sagebase.org or click on the Report Issue flag (found at the center of the header). This will trigger an email to the ACT who will contact you for more details.

Need More Help!

Try posting a question to our Forum.

Let us know what was unclear or what has not been covered. Reader feedback is key to making the documentation better, so please let us know or open an issue in our Github repository (Sage-Bionetworks/synapseDocs).

2016 Sage Bionetworks Contact us Creative Commons License