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Sharing ARCs via the DataHUB

last updated at 2024-03-06 About this guide

In this guide we explain the different ways offered by the DataHUB to share an ARC with collaborators.

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Before we can start

☑️ You have a DataPLANT account
💡 See the DataHUB manual for tutorials

DataHUB concepts and terminology

Before jumping into the details of data sharing, we need to introduce a few DataHUB concepts, settings and terms that tend to be confusing for new users.

"Projects" and "Groups" are not the same

Project = ARC

DataHUB Groups


You can check the namespace by looking at the URL. For example:

Type URL Namespace
A personal ARC https://git.nfdi4plants.org/brilator/Facultative-CAM-in-Talinum brilator
An group-shared ARC https://git.nfdi4plants.org/hhu-plant-biochemistry/Samuilov-2018-BOU-PSP hhu-plant-biochemistry

💡 "Personal" is not the same as "private", see visibility.


The visibility of ARCs and groups can be managed individually for each ARC (see ARC settings) or group see (Creating a Group).

💡 By default every ARC and every group is set to private.

Roles and permissions

If you create or upload an ARC to the DataHUB, you are the Owner by default. When inviting new members to an ARC or group, you can choose between different levels.

💡 A detailed list of all permissions for the individual roles can be found here

ARC members in the DataHUB are not the same as ARC contacts in ISA metadata

Data in the ARC can be annotated with metadata. Metadata annotation in the ARC is based on the ISA metadata model and includes several points to add the the contributors to the overall investigation (→ "Investigation Contacts"), one linked study (→ "Study Contacts" of that study), or one linked assay (→ "Assay Performers" of that assay). For all three types of contributors, contact information (e.g. first and last name, affiliation,ORCID, email) can be added.

Although the contacts added to the ARC's metadata may be the same persons as those added as members to the ARC in the DataHUB, there is currently no automation involved:

Creating an ARC with contributors and uploading it to the DataHUB is conceptually, the same as creating a manuscript with authors for publication and sharing it via any cloud service. You can invite members to your DataHUB-shared ARC just as you can invite collaborators to your cloud-shared manuscript and these may not be the same legal people as added to your investigation contacts (ARC) or author list (manuscript).

💡 Members, groups, and roles set via the DataHUB can easily be confused with contributors added as ISA metadata to an ARC, e.g. collaborators added to investigation, study or assay. These are not the same and they are not automatically synced.

Options to share an ARC via the DataHUB

To suit a wide range of collaborative scenarios, the DataHUB offers multiple, flexible ways of sharing an ARC. This flexibility can be confusing at first. Generally, ARCs can be uploaded to the DataHUB and (a) associated to the namespace of a user account (the default) or (b) the namespace of a group.

The figure below is supposed to give a quick overview. Once an ARC exists in the DataHUB, you can choose between these options to share the ARC with collaborators.

  1. You can invite individual users (1). This is helpful to share an ARC with selected colleagues.
  2. To share an ARC with a group of users (e.g. a lab or consortium), you can invite a group (2).

In both cases (1 and 2), the ARC "stays associated" with the original owner only (visible by the namespace and URL address). Furthermore the roles and permissions can be set for individual users and groups.

  1. Alternatively, you can create a fork of your ARC (3). This generates a copy linked to the original ARC, but now associated with the group. This can be used to share an ARC at a certain stage, without sharing the full progress after that stage. However, since the two ARCs (the original and the fork) can now be developed independently. This can easily lead to divergence and requires a bit more technical expertise to keep both ARCs in sync (if desired).

  2. Finally, you can transfer your ARC to a group (4). This moves the ARC to new namespace (that of the group).

In both cases 3 and 4, you must have at least maintainer access to the group. If you have maintainer access, you can also directly create or upload an ARC to a group.

DataPLANT Support

Besides these technical solutions, DataPLANT supports you with community-engaged data stewardship. For further assistance, feel free to reach out via our helpdesk or by contacting us directly .
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