Access FAQ

Requestors FAQ

Which is the role of the EGA in the data access process?

The European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) facilitates the secure distribution under controlled access of personally identifiable genetic and phenotypic data. Data Access Committee (DAC) is a body of one or more individuals who are responsible for data release to external requestors, based on participant consent and/or National Research Ethics terms. Every time they agree to share their data with new requestors, DACs should contact the EGA. As a query from an official member of the appropriate DAC is received, the EGA can proceed to open the required download account(s) for the accepted requesters.

How do I gain access to the datasets in the EGA?

You should contact the corresponding Data Access Committee(s) (DACs) that controls the access of the dataset(s) you are interested in. They may provide you with their Data Access Agreement document so that you can officially make a request and come to an agreement with them. You can find a DAC’s main contact account in the webpage corresponding to the dataset of interest.

**Screen capture here**

I am a co-applicant. Will I be given a joint access account?

Each applicant is provided with their own exclusive EGA account, together with unique log-in details.

User log-in details are for individual use only and should NEVER be shared, under any circumstances.

EGA services are only provided to EGA account holders

Therefore, the co-applicant(s) account(s) should be included in the formal request to the DAC, who will ask the EGA to open an individual account for the person.

What happens if a co-applicant leaves or a new member needs adding to an existing DAC application?

The appropriate Data Access Committee (DAC) should be contacted and informed about the required changes so that the application can be updated. The DAC may then contact the EGA, who will open and close accounts based on the information that has been received.

I have changed my place of work since my EGA account was created, can I still have access to data?

You must contact the relevant Data Access Committee (DAC) to update them of any changes. In order to change user details within the EGA system such as affiliation, the DAC should confirm to us that they are aware of such modifications to ensure that data access agreements remain valid.

During the period of re-authorisation, users may not be able to access EGA datasets until appropriate approval has been received from the DAC.

How do I apply to the Data Access Committee (DAC) for the dataset I wish to access?

The EGA is a data processor, meaning it does not decide whether an applicant is suitable or not for sharing data, and plays no role in data access decisions.

Access is obtained by formal application to the Data Access Committee (DAC) — who are the data controllers — and is exclusively associated with your dataset(s) of interest. Each DAC requires users to sign a Data Access Agreement (DAA), which details the terms and conditions of use for each dataset. The DAA is specific to each DAC and represents an agreement made between applicant and DAC.

Upon approval, an individual EGA download account is created and log-in details are sent to the user’s institutional email. Users can download all datasets that they have been given permission to via their download account.

Further information on how to obtain an EGA account can be found here.

I have Data Access Committee (DAC) approval, but I have not received my EGA username and password.

As soon as the EGA receives an approved application by the DAC, an EGA account is created for all successful requestors with the corresponding permissions. Then, users are sent an email with their log-in details.

Please check your email junk/trash folder in case the email has been redirected. If you can not find any email with instructions for setting up your account please contact Helpdesk and they will review your case.

I have an account with the EGA and would like access to further datasets. How should I proceed?

You need to re-apply to the relevant Data Access Committee (DAC). Once an application has been approved, your account will be updated and an email will be sent to notify you of a change made to your account. The list of DACs on our system and their respective contact details can be found here.

How do I download files of the datasets I have been granted access to?

The preferred method for data download and decryption is the EGA Secure Download Client. Please carefully review the provided documentation.

In exceptional circumstances the EGA will open an FTP/Aspera download box for you. The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol for exchanging files across the Internet. Aspera Client is a file transfer client application that allows full-speed transfers of large files over distances. It is a faster alternative to FTP, as it provides greater user control enabling individual transfer rates and bandwidth sharing to be set.

Please be informed that metadata is downloaded in a different way, as explained in the next FAQ and in the pertinent Data Access documentation

How do I download metadata?

Metadata is retrieved from the EGA webpage, you will not need to use any download client. Be informed that you will only be able to download metadata of your approved datasets.

For such download, you should first log in the EGA webpage with your credentials. Then you should browse the dataset and you will find an orange button to start the download.

I have forgotten or misplaced my user account password; how do I get a new one?

Click on “Log in”, located on the top right corner of the EGA homepage. Then click “Forgot your password”, type in your registered institutional email address, and instructions for resetting your password will be sent to you. Please check both regular and junk/spam folders and keep in mind that the password reset requires manual validation from the EGA.

I was sent a link to set a password for my download account but it seems like the link has expired. What should I do?

The procedure is the same as the one for a forgotten password, explained in the previous question.


What documentation should the DAC provide to requestors?

Each dataset that is submitted to the EGA must be linked to a Data Access Agreement (DAA) that defines the terms and conditions of its use. A template for guidance can be found below:

DAA template

The DAC should provide their own DAA to the requestor, who should fill it in and send it back to the DAC. Data access decisions should be based on such documentation.

As part of the data access request, we strongly encourage you to identify individuals that will need an account at the EGA in order to prevent sharing of login details, which is strictly forbidden under EGA user account policy.

How can the DAC open download accounts for the approved requestors?

The DAC does not have to create EGA download accounts by itself. Instead, they should contact the EGA Helpdesk and submit their decision of sharing their data. What should be included in the email to Helpdesk is detailed in the next FAQ.

How should the DAC inform the EGA about the approved applications?

Any official member of the DAC, that is to say, individuals whose account and personal information has been registered as part of the DAC during the submission process, have to email Helpdesk with the details of each successful applicant (incl. full name, institutional email address, name of the institution and datasets to be provided access to). A Helpdesk Officer will then create the EGA accounts on behalf of the DAC.

It should be noted that personal email addresses such as Hotmail and Google are not accepted. Please ask the requestor to use an institutional account instead.

I am a member of the Data Access Committee. Could I approve somebody else to deal with the requests on my behalf?

For security reasons the EGA only opens download accounts when we are requested to do so by an official member of the DAC. So, if you want to delegate data access decisions to somebody please make sure that the individual account is officially registered as a member of the DAC.

Be informed that we can always include new members to an existing DAC, remove members and modify contact details. If you have any query like these please contact Helpdesk.