Guide to Accessing Data

                             New user?                                                                     Approved user?

   How to access any Data                             Where to download raw sequence files   How to renew or close-out projects in dbGaP   How to maintain or troubleshoot data access user accounts

What type of data do you want to download: open and/or controlled access data?

OPEN ACCESS – verified and interpreted data that cannot be used to identify individual patients. These types of data can be used, for example, to make correlations between expression of genomic variants in molecular subtypes and clinical outcomes. Most researchers may find open access data sufficient in fulfilling their research needs. No approval is required to download.

CONTROLLED ACCESS – patient/tumor information and unverified or raw molecular data (e.g. array-based and sequencing files) that pose a small but significant risk of patient re-identification. These types of data can be used to perform sophisticated bioinformatics analyses. Data Use Certification, or approval, is required to download. Users must apply for Data Use Certification through the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP) and must agree to the data use limitations

What are the guidelines for using data for publications or other research purposes?

Visit the CGCI Publication Guidelines page to learn the details.

Visit the CTD2 Publication Guidelines page to learn the details.

Visit the TARGET Publication Guidelines page to learn the details.

How do I access open and/or controlled data?

View and/or download a 508 compliant version or printable version of this flowchart. If you do not already have a PDF viewer, you can download Adobe Acrobat for free.  

                                                     Open Access Data Image

                                                                                                              controlled access data





National Center for Biotechnology Information
National Cancer Institute Genomic Data Commons - Sequencing & array files (including Legacy)


Upon Arrival






Learn how to renew or close out approved access.


Last updated: August 08, 2020