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 Cytobank are completely private by default and can only be viewed or accessed by the account that uploaded the data. This article overviews the various ways that data can be shared and collaborated with on Cytobank. Click the links below to jump to the relevant section within this article:


Private Access

Cytobank has a commitment to data confidentiality, privacy, and security. When data are uploaded to Cytobank, they are only visible to the user account that uploaded the data. Steps must be taken in order 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 Cytobank 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 SPADE, viSNE, and CITRUS. 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).

Any user can be added or removed as a full access user to an experiment from within the sharing dialog box. Enter a user's first and/or last name, their username, or their email, and you will see an icon appear (which may or may not contain a photo). Click the icon to share the experiment (the user being shared with will receive a notification via email). If a user doesn't appear in this list, confirm that they are on the same Cytobank.

When an experiment is shared with full access, all the linked experiments will be shared too. 

(example of adding a user to an experiment with full access. Single users can't be added to an experiment with any other permissions besides full access. For sharing without full access, see information about projects below)


Projects for Sharing Among Groups with Structured Permissions

Projects are a functionality within Cytobank that accomplish many things. A core use of a project is to organize experiments. Any experiment in Cytobank can belong to a single project. Any 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 be bound by access permissions set by the project administrators. 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 Cytobank.


"Public" Experiments for All Users

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

In the Experiment Manager, on the left panel, there is a filter called ‘Cytobank curated’. Experiments that are made public by Cytobank 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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