Main Content

Data Access Policies

GDC policies for open and controlled data access adhere to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genomic Data Sharing Policy (GDS) Policy as well as the NCI GDS Policy. The GDC requires that users obtain authorization from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP) for accessing controlled data.

Data Access Policies 

NIH Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) Policy

Any user accessing GDC open data must adhere to the NIH Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) Policy which indicates that investigators who download unrestricted-access data from NIH-designated data repositories should:

  • Not attempt to identify individual human research participants from whom the data were obtained.
  • Acknowledge in all oral or written presentations, disclosures, or publications the specific dataset(s) or applicable accession number(s) and the NIH-designated data repositories through which the investigator accessed any data.

Any user requesting access to GDC controlled data must apply for dbGaP authorization, which is granted by an NIH Data Access Committee (DAC). DACs review and approve or disapprove all requests from the research community for data access.  Decisions to grant access are made based on whether the request conforms to the specifications within the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy and program specific requirements or procedures (if any). In particular, all uses proposed for controlled-access data must be consistent with the data use limitations for the data set as indicated by the submitting institution and identified on the public website for dbGaP. DACs also review and approve or disapprove all requests for access to dbGaP data for programmatic oversight by NIH employees.

Data Transfer Rate Limitations

The GDC aims to provide the research community at large with access to GDC data. To ensure that all users have sufficient access to GDC data, the GDC must impose connection limits on concurrent usage. Rate limiting will be applied to any IP address that exceeds 250 or more concurrent connections. The GDC reserves the right to lower the rate limit at our discretion and without notice to better serve the research community. Individuals that require 250 or more concurrent connections per IP address should contact GDC Support.

Additional Information

 For more information on data access policies, refer to following links: