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Access Tiers

There are two data access tiers:

  • Open Access data tier
  • Controlled Access data tier

Open Access Data Tier

The Open Access data tier comprises public data not unique to an individual. The Open Access data tier does not require user certification.

Data in the Open Access tier are available in the TCGA Data Portal as well as other public databases.
These data may consist of:

  • De-identified clinical and demographic data
  • Gene expression data
  • Copy number alterations in regions of the genome
  • Epigenetic data
  • Summaries of data, such as genotype frequencies, compiled across individuals
  • Anonymized single amplicon DNA sequence data

Controlled Access Data Tier

The Controlled Access data tier contains data that may be unique to an individual. All data types are stripped of direct identifiers. The Controlled Access data tier requires user certification.

The following data types are in Controlled Access:

  • Individual germline variant data (SNP .cel files)
  • Exon Array files (glioblastoma and ovarian serous cystadenocarcinoma projects only)
  • Primary sequence data (.bam files) - available at the Cancer Genomics Hub (CGHub)

To gain access to these data, the researchers must:

Once the request is approved, researchers must:

  • Agree to restrict their use of the information to biomedical research purposes only
  • Agree with the statements within TCGA Data Use Certification (DUC) 
  • Have their institutions certifiably agree to the statements within TCGA DUC

Note that CGHub data is accessible using the approved user's eRA Commons credentials, while DCC protected data is accessible through the user's NCI username and password. An external NCI username is provided upon the approval of the Data Access Request.

Questions regarding Data Access Policies and Procedures can be sent to the TCGA Data Access Committee at tcga@mail.nih.gov