All the Ways to Share Data on Cytobank



Great science is seldom done in isolation! Sharing of data and analyses is a key functionality of the Cytobank platform and allows greater velocity toward group research goals. Data uploaded to the Cytobank platform is completely private by default and can only be viewed or accessed by the account that uploaded the data.  

This article describes the various ways data can be shared and collaborated with on the Cytobank platform. Click the links below to jump to the relevant section within this article: 


Private Access

The Cytobank platform has a commitment to data confidentiality, privacy and security. When data is uploaded to a Cytobank experiment, it is visible only to the user account that uploaded the data. Steps must be taken to change data from being private to some other access level. Read more about Cytobank security. 


The Sharing Dialog Box for an Experiment

Any given experiment on the Cytobank platform can be in a different state of privacy and sharing depending on actions taken by the managers of the experiment. The sharing dialog box is designed to give an overview of the state of sharing in the experiment and to allow certain actions to change this. To view the sharing dialog, navigate into an experiment and click the Sharing button in the far right of the navigation bar: 


(Click the sharing button in the navigation bar to view the sharing dialog box)


Full Access for individually selected users

A user with full access to a particular experiment can view and download the data, alter core metadata such as Sample Tags and gates, create figures, and run advanced analyses such as dimensionality reduction, clustering and CITRUS algorithms. Full access to an experiment is given on a per-user basis and controlled from the sharing dialog box within a Cytobank experiment (see section above).

A user on the same Cytobank server can be added or removed as a full access user to an experiment. You can share with a user who is already on your private Enterprise server or your Cytobank connections (Premium server) by typing their username or Email in the Sharing dialog box. Then, click the icon to share the experiment (the user being shared with will receive a notification via email). When an experiment is shared with full access, all the linked experiments will be shared too. You may also remove the access by clicking on the icon next to the username.

Connect with a user 

If a user doesn't appear in this list, please connect with the user first by clicking on Connect with a user tab. This feature is to ensure compliance with user personal identification information (PII) privacy. Please note this is for users on the shared Cytobank Premium servers. If you are on a private enterprise server, this feature may not be enabled.


(Example of adding or removing a user to an experiment with full access. Select the user who is already in your Cytobank connection from the Sharing dialog or use Connect with a user to connect with the user first to be able to share the experiment)

It will bring you to the User connections section on your user profile page.  You may request a new user connection by typing the email and then clicking the Submit button. It will show under the Existing Connections as pending until the other user accepts it. The other user must accept the request in the email received or from the Experiment Manager to be connected in the Cytobank platform and to be able to share the experiment. 


(User connection requests can be accepted from your email or the Experiment Manager)

Under the existing connections, you will see the list of connections you have and the number of experiments or projects you have shared. The users shown as pre-existing are the users you had shared experiments with before the User connections feature was implemented.  


What does it mean to be connected in the Cytobank platform (Premium servers)

Once you are connected with another user on the Cytobank platform and you share with him or her an experiment or project that you already shared with your other connections, the other user will be automatically connected with those who are already on the experiment or project. Conversely, if your connection shares data with you, you will be automatically connected with the users who are already on the shared experiment or project. You will be connected even if you have previously rejected the user connection, as now you have common access to the same data. 

Please be sure you trust the person before making the connection request. You can remove the connections only if there is no data shared. If there are shared experiments or projects, the remove connection icon is greyed out. Please remove the user from all shared experiments or projects first before you remove the connection. Please see above for the instructions about how to remove the user from full access. 


Projects for Sharing Among Groups with Structured Permissions

Projects are a functionality within the Cytobank platform that accomplish many things. The main use of a project is to organize experiments. Any experiment in the Cytobank platform can belong to a single project. A project will have many different users that are part of the project. These users will either get full access to the experiments within the project, or the access permissions set by the project administrators.  Again, for premium servers, the users to be added must be in your Cytobank connections list first before you are able to share the project. Access permissions limit the ability to edit key metadata such as Sample Tags and gates, and to download or copy the underlying data files. Read a detailed article about projects in the Cytobank platform.


"Public" Experiments for All Users

When an experiment on the Cytobank platform is "public," it is available in a read-only format to all individuals with accounts on the Cytobank server being used. The term "public" is put in quotes because many users operate on Enterprise Cytobank servers, which are closed networks available only to certain individuals with institutional access. In these cases, a public experiment is simply institution-wide. In the case of Premium Cytobank, the term public is true to the definition. Many scientists choose to make data public on the Cytobank platform for publication purposes. Learn more about different Cytobank offerings. 

Public experiments appear with a globe icon next to the experiment name in the Inbox. Public experiments can be cloned to make a personal copy to interact with the data in greater detail. 


(Public experiments visible in the Experiment Manager)

An experiment can be made public or private again from the sharing dialog box (see section above):


(make an experiment public or remove public status from the sharing dialog box)


Cytobank Curated Experiments

On the left panel in the Experiment Manager, there is a filter called Cytobank curated. Experiments that are made public by the Cytobank team will show up when you click this filter and will have a Cytobank icon before the experiment name. If you would like to have your experiment featured as Cytobank curated, please write to us and we will evaluate designating your experiment as a Cytobank-curated demo dataset. 



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