Synapse logoSynapse is a collaborative research platform that helps researchers publicly and privately share, organize, and discuss scientific research. Synapse is organized around project-based data sharing, with the ability to communicate through organized teams, wikis, discussion forums, and data views. Synapse is run by Sage Bionetworks and the source code is open source.

Compare Synapse to other options in the Harvard Biomedical Repository Matrix.

Please contact us if you have any questions or suggestions about the content of this page. Last updated: 2023-11-13

Features & Specifications

  • Data Size and Format

    The maximum file size accepted by Synapse is unknown. Synapse accepts most file types.

  • Data Licensing

    • Conditions for use are put in place to define/restrict how users who have permission to download data may use it.
    • Conditions for use may include IRB approval or other restrictions that you define as the data contributor.
    • You are responsible for determining if the data you would like to contribute is controlled data and therefore requires conditions for use.
    • Conditions for use can be set at the project, folder, file and table level.
  • Data Attribution and Citation Tools

    Synapse items receive a unique identifier (SynID). Items that receive a SynID are files, folders, projects, tables, views, wikis, links, and Docker repositories. Each file also receives a MD5 checksum. DOIs are available in Synapse for projects, files, folders, tables, and views.

  • User Access Controls

    • Synapse offers a number of user access controls for public and private projects, and sharing settings can be managed at the project, folder, file, and table level.
    • Data containing sensitive information (i.e., data with a de-identification risk) can be restricted to specific users; users wanting access to controlled data can request individual access.
    • Project administrators can add and manage permissions for individual team members on private projects.
    • Public projects can either be fully public or restricted to registered Synapse Users.
  • Data Access Tools

    • Users are required to have a Synapse account and become a certified user in order to upload data.
    • Data can be uploaded and downloaded via a web-based user interface or programmatically using Python, R, or the command line.
  • Cost

    Standard Data Hosting Plan

    • Free
    • Intended for individual researchers wanting to share small datasets (<100GB) for publication (including creating DOIs) and scientific, educational, and research collaborations.
    • Self-service project set-up and data hosting


    Managed Data Hosting Plan

    • Starting at $6,000/year (with a minimum of 5 years)
    • Can be customized
    • Data longevity guarantees, consultation services for setting up and sharing data according to FAIR principles, access to consulting hours with our experienced governance team, and tools for managing data access requests.
    • Recommended for for new grants that will include an NIH Data Management and Sharing plan/budget.


    Data Coordination Plan

    • Contact Sage for pricing
    • Enables the creation of end-to-end centers in support of collaborative, multi-institutional research consortia.
    • Additional customized consulting services, and data curation, harmonization, and validation services.
    • Services to create a customized and feature-rich data exploration portal for your coordination center that includes links to sophisticated computational environments.
  • Other Features

    • Docker integration
    • Data on Synapse can be computed directly in S3
    • Synapse tracks and visualizes the provenance of files or results connected in a workflow