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Getting Started

Welcome to the Synapse docs site!

This site exists to help you make the most of your experience using Synapse.

Whether you’re new to Synapse, or an experienced user, this docs site should help.

What’s on this docs site for you?

  • Read about Synapse—how it got started and how it fits into the bigger data-sharing picture

  • Gain a better understanding of Sage Bionetworks (that’s us—the nonprofit organization that created Synapse) and our other platforms that coincide with Synapse (such as portals)

  • Learn about Synapse governance and how it protects data privacy

  • Get familiar with the structure and components of Synapse so you can navigate it with ease and manage your account

  • Learn how to upload and organize your data

  • Learn how to curate your data, as well as other data stored in Synapse

  • Learn how to find and download data of interest

  • Get information on our API clients, including installation instructions and access to API documentation

  • Put instructions into action with our use cases—real applications of specific tasks

  • Look up an unfamiliar term or acronym in our glossary

  • See our help section for further assistance via the FAQ page, discussion forum, or contact information to get in touch

  • Plus, much more—browse our articles or use the search bar to find exactly the information you need

What do you need to get started?

First off, to browse Synapse and access its most basic level of functionality, you will need to register for a Synapse account. In doing so, you will be agreeing to the Synapse Code of Conduct and Synapse Terms and Conditions of Use.

If you’re simply looking to view a public wiki page, or browse our public project or file catalog, you can do so without registering for a Synapse account.

To perform other functions within Synapse, such as exploring, downloading, uploading, and organizing data, there are additional steps to take:

Exploring and downloading data

As a registered user, you can view and download any data that is publicly available.

However, some data is considered controlled access and requires additional protections for who can access it and how it can be used. This data will be clearly labelled with its specific conditions for use. Occasionally, access to controlled data requires additional steps, like having your analysis plan approved by an ethics board or IRB. Controlled access data can not be shared. Anyone wishing to gain access to said data must individually agree to the conditions for use.

Uploading, organizing, and curating data

To work with data of your own or your team’s, you must become a certified user. To become certified, you must pass a certification quiz, which will ask you about information that can be found throughout this documentation site.

Accessing mHealth data

To access mHealth data, you must become a validated user.

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