What are the different account types on the ODC and why are they needed?

We have several different authentication steps and account types in the ODC to help protect unpublished data. You gain more access and functions as you are approved for the next account type. Get more information here

What is FAIR data?

FAIR stands for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. Learn more about FAIR data

Is there a data quality check process?

Yes, in the ODC, the dataset, dataset metadata, and data dictionary undergo quality checks for proper formatting and completeness. The checks ensure that the data is Interoperable and Reusable. Some quality checks are performed during the upload of the dataset, ensuring a minimal level of quality to all private and public datasets. The check during the upload process is automatic without human oversight since the upload is handled privately within the user’s account. When data is released to the Community data space or submitted for publication, further checks will be conducted by the ODC Data Team to ensure that the released or published dataset meets FAIR standards.

How to cite my dataset?

Citations in Text/Talks:

• always use the full http address with the dataset DOI number when referring to your dataset, for example:


Citations in Methods:

• insert the following dataset citation statement in the methods and data availability statement of your manuscript:

The dataset supporting this article is available at the Open Data Commons for

Spinal Cord Injury (odc-sci.org), http://doi.org/10.7295/W97942VQ.

Citation in Bibliography:

• insert the full dataset citation in the reference section of your manuscript, you will find this full dataset citation on the public dataset page, below the title of your dataset, for example:

Schmidt E. K., Raposo P. J F., Vavrek R., Fouad K. (2021) Lipopolysaccharide treatment in the subacute stage of cervical spinal cord injury enhances motor recovery and increases anxiety-like behavior in female rats. Open Data Commons for Spinal Cord Injury. ODC-SCI:459. http://doi.org/10.34945/F5FW2B

How to cite ODC?

Please cite the publications below in manuscripts using Open Data Commons for SCI or TBI for data collection and management. We recommend the following language:

Study data were deposited to ODC-SCI hosted at University of California, San Diego. ODC-SCI/TBI is a secure, cloud-based repository platform designed to share research data.


Chou A, Torres-Espín A, Huie JR, Krukowski K, Lee S, Nolan A, Guglielmetti C, Hawkins BE, Chaumeil MM, Manley GT, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC, Martone ME, Grethe JS, Rosi S, Ferguson AR. Empowering Data Sharing and Analytics through the Open Data Commons for Traumatic Brain Injury Research. Neurotrauma Rep. 2022 Apr 5;3(1):139-157. doi: 10.1089/neur.2021.0061. PMID: 35403104; PMCID: PMC8985540. Grant support: NIH U24NS122732 For ODC-TBI: RRID:SCR_021736


Torres-Espín A, Almeida CA, Chou A, Huie JR, Chiu M, Vavrek R, Sacramento J, Orr MB, Gensel JC, Grethe JS, Martone ME, Fouad K, Ferguson AR; STREET-FAIR Workshop Participants. Promoting FAIR Data Through Community-driven Agile Design: the Open Data Commons for Spinal Cord Injury (odc-sci.org). Neuroinformatics. 2022 Jan;20(1):203-219. doi: 10.1007/s12021-021-09533-8. Epub 2021 Aug 4. PMID: 34347243; PMCID: PMC9537193.For ODC-SCI: RRID:SCR_016673Grant support: WfL & CHNF, NIH U24NS122732

Link to articles:

Who can upload data on ODC?

Any registered lab member can upload data to the ODC lab they belong in. The PI or any lab members they designate (as lab managers on the ODC) can share, release, and publish datasets. For more information, see “What are the different account types on the ODC-SCI?”

What type of data is accepted?

Any Spinal Cord Injury or Traumatic Brain Injury associated data that can be disseminated in a spreadsheet (csv) format is accepted. This includes in vivo and in vitro data. Human data must be de-identified prior to uploading to the ODC.

It is the user's responsibility to make sure they have the right permissions to upload data. For human data, users are responsible for the de-identification and for all documentation required for sharing data. To know more, read the ODC terms of use

Should I upload and publish raw data or analyzed data?

We encourage publishing primary data: minimally processed data that provides the most flexibility and usefulness for additional analysis. Importantly, primary data is not always raw data but may have some minimal transformation to make the data more directly usable.

If the data has been processed, we recommend explaining the methodology in a dataset-associated methodology document which you can upload alongside the dataset.

Do I have to format my data for upload?

Yes. Before uploading a dataset to the ODC, your dataset must be formatted based on ODC specifications. See Getting your data ready for more information.

What is a Data Dictionary?

A data dictionary is a file containing information about each variable (i.e. Column) in the dataset. The data dictionary provides critical information for the interpretability and reusability of the dataset. Importantly, the data dictionary helps other users understand what each of your variables is and any important details you include. We encourage you to submit a data dictionary with your dataset, even if you do not plan to publish the data. Check this to know how to get the data dictionary ready

What is a CSV file format?

“CSV” (or ".csv") is a widely-used file format for spreadsheet-style datasets and stands for “comma-separated values”. In brief, a CSV is a delimited text file where each value (i.e. cell of the spreadsheet) is separated by a comma.

We require datasets and data dictionaries to be CSV files when you are uploading to the ODC-SCI. You can easily convert excel (e.g. ".xls", ".xlsx") files to “.csv” files through spreadsheet programs like Excel by saving as a ".csv".

Importantly, the process will only save the ACTIVE spreadsheet in your excel file. The process will exclude any graphs or graphics since the CSV file will only include the values in the spreadsheet cells. For more information about how to format your dataset, see the Getting your data ready

Can I deny the use of my dataset in someone else’s publication?

Only if the dataset has not been published with an assigned DOI. Once a dataset has a DOI and has been published (i.e. moved to the Public Space), the use of the dataset falls under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY v4.0), which allows anyone with access to use the contents of the dataset but sets the legal obligation of giving appropriate credit to the authors of the data.

What if I need to make changes to a published dataset?

PIs can request permission to make changes/updates to published datasets from their lab. In order to maintain proper data provenance, if a published dataset needs to be edited, please contact the ODC Data Team (data@odc-sci.org) with an explanation of the changes you wish to make. The Data Team will assess the proposed changes on a case-by-case basis to inform you of how the changes will be applied and guide you through the process.

For more information, refer to the ODC Version Control Policy.

Can I delete my published dataset?

Once a DOI and landing page have been published to the public on the ODC, we will not delete the information. However, PIs can ask for the dataset and associated data dictionary and supplementary files to be retracted. To initiate the process, please contact the ODC Data Team (data@odc-sci.org) with an explanation of why the dataset needs to be retracted. The Data Team will assess the request and help you through the process.

For more information, refer to the ODC-SCI Version Control Policy.

Do I need programming skills to submit, share, or publish the datasets?

No. No programming experience is required in order to upload your dataset. You can format your dataset in any spreadsheet software before uploading, and all the steps of the process are handled directly on the website.

In case you need assistance with anything during the process, you can contact us via the Help Desk button on the bottom right of every page or by emailing us (info@odc-sci.org).

What happens to my dataset if I am no longer part of the lab/change labs?

The dataset that you upload is the property of the lab, and the PI of the original lab will maintain full control of the dataset on the ODC-SCI.

I have missing scroll bars while using the platform

If you are using a Mac, some of the scroll bars on the platform (e.g., in windows listing available datasets or lab members) might not show up for you because of your computer settings. For example:

To fix this issue:

  1. Go to the General settings of your Mac.

  2. Find the "Show scroll bars" option.

  3. Change the setting to "Always".

Last updated