About Accounts, Certification and Profile Validation

There are three levels of users in Synapse: Anonymous, Registered, and Certified. The table below summarizes the user privileges for each level.

Anonymous Registered Certified
Browse Public Project Catalog X X X
Browse Public File Catalog X X X
Create a Project X X
Add Wiki Content X X
Download Files/Tables* X X
Upload Files/Tables X
Add Provenance X

*Your ability to download a File or Table depends on your Synapse user type AND fulfilling the Conditions for Use, if any, of the File or Table.

User Responsibilities

You are solely responsible for your actions on Synapse. You are required to abide by the Synapse Terms and Conditions of Use and all policies and principles described in the Synapse governance documents. We strongly encourage you to familiarize yourself with these documents. Please contact the Synapse Access and Compliance Team (act@synapse.org) if you have any questions.

Important: By using Synapse you consent to all Synapse governance policies and procedures.

About Creating, Updating, and Deleting Synapse Accounts

Anyone over the age of 13 may create a Synapse account. From your Synapse profile homepage, you can edit your profile information, update your email account, and change your password. All user activity on Synapse is recorded for auditing purposes. So, although they can be updated, Synapse accounts cannot be deleted. All of your public activities are and will remain publically viewable. All of your activities within private projects are and will remain viewable to the people within that project.

Anonymous Users

Anyone can browse Synapse anonymously to review the platform features and resources, including the catalog of public Projects, Files, and Tables. However, Anonymous Users cannot create Projects in Synapse, add Wiki content, comment in a Discussion Forums, nor can they upload or download Files or Tables.

Registered Users

Registered Users can create Projects and Wikis. They can collaborate with other Registered Users and create teams. Registered Users can download Open Data and, if they fulfill Conditions for Use, Controlled Data.


Certified Users

Certified Users are authorized to use the full Synapse functionality. In order to ensure that users wishing to interact more freely within Synapse are familiar with the Synapse Commons Data Use Procedure, users must pass a short quiz (15 questions, approximately 20 minutes) to become Certified.

Become a Certified User

Validated Profile

Certified Users can apply to have their user profile validated. A Synapse user with a Validated Profile is eligible to request access to Bridge data (data collected in research studies conducted via self-guided mobile applications.)

Why Get Validated?

As a certified user with a validated profile, you can access more features and data.

A validated profile is one where your identity is established through a combination of your profile information, your ORCID, your signed oath, and an external credential. This profile validation enables greater transparency within the research community, promoting a reciprocal relationship between you and participants as data donors. You will need a validated profile prior to requesting access to data collected through research apps.

Get Your Profile Validated

Go to the settings area of your Synapse profile homepage (click your name/picture on upper banner of the screen, then select Settings to get there) and use the links in the Profile Validation box:

  1. Confirm your user profile is complete including your full name, current affiliation, and city/country.
  2. Link to your ORCID profile. Make sure your profile is public and populate it with at least one piece of information about yourself in addition to your name.
  3. Physically sign (in ink), initial, and submit the Synapse Oath
  4. Submit recent (current within the past month) identity attestation documentation. Acceptable forms of documentation, in English, are:

You will receive a notification email when your profile has been validated and a badge will appear on your Synapse profile homepage.

Acceptable Documentation for Identity Verification

Acceptable forms of documentation, in English, are: