While Synapse’s organizational tools (folders, tables, etc.) are used for uploading and managing data, there are also tools for curating and viewing your own data, as well as other data already stored in Synapse.

A primary curation tool for your own data is creating metadata. This involves annotating your data with standardized information in order to give it context—data about the data, if you will. Metadata is what allows data in Synapse to be searchable, discoverable, accessible, re-usable, and understandable to you, members of your team, and to others, including those who were not involved in the data generation process. Metadata can be descriptive (i.e., the name of the file), administrative (i.e., provenance information), or research-based (i.e., information about the sampling and handling of data).

(plus) Learn all about creating and managing this metadata at Annotating Data With Metadata.


Other tools for curating data include views, datasets, and versioning.

You can use a view to:

  • Search and query many files, tables, projects, and submissions at once

  • View and edit file or table annotations in bulk

  • Group or link files, tables, projects, or submissions together by their annotations

(plus) Learn all about views here.

You can use a dataset to:

  • Collect and distribute a set of files generated from the same study or project

  • Create a single item to represent a group of files that exist across disparate projects or folders

(plus) Learn all about datasets here.

Versioning is a way to save new copies of your work each time you make a change.

(plus) Learn all about versioning here.