How to Request Controlled Access Datasets from OSDR

NASA OSDR is the custodian of human-derived data from the spaceflight missions and/or ground analog experiments with established protocols for controlled-access to said data in accordance with applicable study Institutional Review Board (IRB) guidelines.

Table of Contents

Step 1: Identify the Dataset

Explore all OSDR data using the search functions on the data repository at Select the study of interest and review the study description and metadata thoroughly. The level of access control is different in each study. Review the Files tab to identify which folders (data type and level) have restricted files. A study with Controlled-Access data in OSDR will have a "Request Access to Restricted Files" button under the Files tab, identifying that some or all of the data in that study is restricted and needs to be requested. The restricted data files will have a lock icon next to them.

request access to restricted files

Step 2: Investigator Submits Data Access Request

Once the data has been identified, the investigator will need to complete the Controlled Access Data Access Request Form. Click on the "Request Access to Restricted Files" button to bring up the form in a browser window.

Within the Controlled Access - Data Access Request Form, follow these steps:

  • Select the Study Files of interest, by clicking on the folder(s). Only the files with Controlled-Access will show up here.
  • Fill out all the fields. Note some fields are required and denoted with an asterisk (*).
  • Upload your Institutional Review Board (IRB) document (.pdf or .docx format only).
  • Review the Data User Agreement.
  • Note that for collaborations between multiple institutions, the investigator(s) at each institution must submit a separate data access request and receive approval before data may be accessed.
  • Submit Request.

Thorough completion of the form will help minimize any potential delays in the process.

Step 3: Verify Affiliation

Once request is successfully received, the OSDR Curation Team will verify the requestor affiliation. As the requestor, you will receive an email from OSDR to verify your institutional email. In addition, the supervisor or lead listed on your request will also receive an email to verify the requestor affiliation and approval to access this type of data. Both the requestor and supervisor must respond back with approval before the request can be reviewed and sent to the Data Access Committee.

Step 4: Request Reviewed by OSDR Curation Team

Once requestor verification is completed, the Curation Team will review for completeness and send to the Data Access Committee (DAC). If request is missing information, the Curation Team will request additional information from the submitter.

Step 5: Data Access Committee Reviews Request

Once all the required information is complete, the OSDR Curator will forward the data access request to the appropriate DAC for review. Based on their review, the committee will approve or reject the data access request, or they may also return the data access request for revision.

  • If the data access request is approved, the investigator will receive an email with instructions on accessing the data.
  • If a data access request is rejected, the DAC provides a comment to the investigator describing the reason for the rejection. The investigator will have the option to make any necessary changes and resubmit the request.

Step 6: Access Data

Once data access request is approved, the investigator must agree to the terms in the Data User Agreement. The investigator is responsible for complying with the terms and conditions in the agreement and safeguarding the data.

Once the investigator has completed the Data User Agreement step, the OSDR Curation Team will then grant access to the data requested. The investigator will be able to access the data for the duration stated in the approval email. If an extension is required, the investigator must submit a project renewal prior to the expiration of the access period. Data can only be used as described in the data access request form. Any changes will need to be approved by the Data Access Committee.

Step 7: Report Progress

Investigators are asked to provide Progress Updates to OSDR as part of the data access oversight process. These updates shall include information on the use of the data, publications or presentations resulting from the data, any violations of this Agreement, remediation actions taken, and information on downstream intellectual property resulting from the data. Progress updates can be sent to

Step 8: Close Out

Upon completion of analysis/project, investigators must properly delete all data downloaded for this request and ensure all copies have been deleted from all approved users. Access to view or download the data will be terminated at one year unless an extension request has been approved. Investigators should cite the dataset and add acknowledgements as stated in the approval email.

Step 9: Questions?

If you have any questions during the data request process, please contact the OSDR Curation team at