Frequently Asked Questions

  1. General
    1. What is GeneLab, ALSDA, NBISC, BSP?
    2. What is Open Science Data Repository (OSDR)?
    3. What is Biological Data Management Environment (BDME)?
    4. What is the Environmental Data Application (EDA)?
    5. What is the Visualization (Viz) Portal?
    6. What is the GeneLab Data System (GLDS)?
    7. What is the Life Sciences Data System (LSDS)?
  2. Research Data Submission Agreement
    1. What is a Research Data Submission Agreement (RDSA)?
    2. What are the Data Submission Guidelines?
  3. Data Submission
    1. How to I submit data?
    2. How do I modify a dataset?
    3. How to cite datasets?
    4. Right of first publication?
    5. What datasets can I submit?
    6. When will my data receive an OSDR accession number?
  4. Data Repository
    1. How can I access the Data Repository?
    2. How can I search for data?
    3. How do I download metadata and/or data files?


What is GeneLab, ALSDA, NBISC, BSP?


Found out more about GeneLab at https://genelab.nasa.gov/faq#3


The Ames Life Sciences Data Archive (ALSDA) is the official repository of non-human science data generated by NASA's Space Biology Program and Human Research Program, located at NASA Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley. The Project is responsible for archiving, collecting, curating, and making available space-relevant higher-order phenotypic datasets. These datasets span a broad range of biological levels involving data from tissues, organs, whole organisms, physiology, and behavior.


NBISC is a biorepository of non-human samples collected from NASA-funded spaceflight investigations and correlative ground studies. The purpose of NBISC is to receive, store, document, preserve, and make the collection available to the scientific community.

Since 1995, NBISC has fostered gravitational biology research by providing access to these rare and unique samples to maximize the scientific return. Samples not utilized by primary investigations are preserved and made available through an open-science approach. Historically, these samples have been used in a wide range of analyses, including histology, genomics, and transcriptomics.


The BSP concept was initially pioneered during early US/USSR collaborations in the 1960s on uncrewed Russian COSMOS flights. During that time, small teams of dissectors worked in field laboratories at the landing sites to collect samples for analysis by investigators. The establishment of a formal BSP began with Spacelab-3, which launched in 1985 from the Kennedy Space Center on the Shuttle Transportation System (STS-51B). The present effort builds upon more than 50 years of highly successful NASA collaborative life science investigations; a proven track record for maximizing utilization of unique biological specimens. Based out of the NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) in Silicon Valley, the BSP team strives to meet the highest standards for research animal care and welfare and serves to collect high-quality biospecimens to increase the scientific return of a limited and valuable resource. Biospecimens are collected by trained personnel in accordance with the principles and guidelines presented in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals 8th edition (National Research Council, 2011) and the Care and Use of Animals NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR 8910.1D).

Find out more about BSP at https://science.nasa.gov/biological-physical/space-biology-biospecimen-sharing-program

What is Open Science Data Repository (OSDR)?

An Open Science Data Repository (OSDR) is funded and managed by BPS Programs, and each is specifically designated for a certain scientific scope and sources of data. An open access data repository is a place where researchers can archive and share their research outputs, such as datasets, images, and videos and make them discoverable

What is Biological Data Management Environment (BDME)?

The Biological Data Management Environment (BDME) is an environment for the science community to upload, download, share, store, analyze, and visualize biological data from spaceflight and analog research data. Currently the BDEM includes a submission portal, data repository, environmental data application, and visualization application

What is the Environmental Data Application (EDA)?

The Environmental Data Application permits the ability to analyze environmental monitoring data from spaceflight and analog experiments. Environmental monitoring data available for International Space Station, Space Shuttle, and Space Biology funded payloads. Parameters may include temperature, humidity, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and acceleration.

What is the Visualization (Viz) Portal?

Find out more about Data Visualization at https://genelab.nasa.gov/about-data-viz

What is the GeneLab Data System (GLDS)?

Find out more about GLDS and GeneLab at https://genelab.nasa.gov/faq#3

1.7. What is the Life Sciences Data System (LSDS)?

The Life Sciences Data System (LSDS) is a NASA open-access phenotypic repository for biological experiments and data collections. LSDS archives, stores, and makes accessible standards-compliant, phenomics, physiological, bioimaging, and behavioral data from space-relevant experiments. The data is curated and enhanced by associated experimental metadata that includes flight, experiment, payload, mission, and hardware metadata.

Research Data Submission Agreement

What is a Research Data Submission Agreement (RDSA)?

The Research Data Submission Agreement (RDSA) is the mechanism by which the investigator and the OSDR plan for the collection of information, data, and tissues. The RDSA is the agreement between the investigator and OSDR regarding the transfer of research data, data standards, and scope of data to be submitted and timeframe for submission. The RDSA facilitates NASA’s commitment to meet the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) directive for "Increasing Access to the Results of Scientific Research."

What are the Data Submission Guidelines?

Investigators should submit research data throughout the course of the investigation, according to the schedule outlined in the RDSA. Research software developed using SMD funding and used in support of a scientific, peer-reviewed publication shall be released as open-source software along with documentation of that software, no later than the publication date. This does not include propriety or commercial software. To ensure reproducibility, investigators must, however, provide any numerical input used with commercial calculation packages.

To allow the OSDR time to verify the data, a final submission of data shall be complete as possible at the onset of the peer-review process for the article that they support. Because non-published data can be a critical part of the scientific process, data that do not form the basis of a publication produced during the award period shall be shared by the end of the award period. A single research project may take advantage of both approaches.

It is not the intention to increase the burden on investigators, but to utilize their expertise to facilitate the curation of their data by the Open Science Project teams.

Data Submission

How do I submit data?

Please see the linked webpage for how to submit data to BDME using this LINK .

How do I modify a dataset?

Please contact OSDR using this LINK . A team member will assist you in making the corrections.

How to cite datasets?

The preferred way to cite datasets is to use the dataset citation provided in the "Citation" panel of the "Description" section of each study. This citation can be downloaded in BibTex or RIS format.


Example citation for GLDS-249 is:
Galazka JM, Green SJ, Lai Polo S, Saravia-Butler AM, Fogle HW, Bense NB, Boyko V, Dinh MT, Chen Y, Walton T, Kunstman KJ, Costes SV, Gebre SG, Lee MD. "Metagenomic analysis of feces from mice flown on the RR-6 mission", GeneLab, Version 11, https://genelab-data.ndc.nasa.gov/genelab/accession/GLDS-249/

Examples Acknowledgement for data:
A general statement crediting NASA Open Science Data Repository for data, assistance, and/or review.

"Data are courtesy of the NASA Open Science Data Repository’s Biological Data Management Environment ( https://osdr.nasa.gov/bio/repo )"

Right of first publication?

The OSDR recognizes the importance of the right of first publication and will work with the PI to obtain and embargo the data per the schedule outlined in the RDSA. In addition to adherence to the Biological and Physical Sciences Division Scientific Data Management Policy, Investigators shall authorize OSDRs to publish research data no later than the publication date of the article or final investigation results (e.g., peer-reviewed, or non-peer reviewed article). Investigators may authorize release of research data prior to this time. Extensions to the data release date may be coordinated with the OSDR team.

What datasets can I submit?

BDME accepts spaceflight and space relevant omics, phenotypic, physiological, bioimaging, and behavioral datasets.

When will my data receive a study accession number?

Each dataset will receive an accession number in one of two formats: GLDS-XXX or LSDS-XXX. Submitters can access their accession numbers(s) within the BDME Portal.

Data Repository

How can I access the Data Repository?

To access the centralized data repository for spaceflight and space relevant omics, phenotypic, physiological, and behavioral data spanning a broad range of biological levels and multi-omics data click on the following LINK . All data in the Open Science Data Repository continues to be accessible to all users without user authentications.

How can I search for data?

The key word search bar or filter search options are available to users for navigating and accessing the various datasets. Here, users can apply the filters to access several data types including: Study, Experiment, Subject, Biospecimen, Payload, Mission, Hardware, and Vehicle. The new user interface allows for easy search capabilities, descriptive metadata for each data type, and files available for download. Users navigating through the various data types will find the research data and results under the "Study" category. Studies contain detailed information about the investigation, samples, assay tables (including characteristics, factors, parameters, and protocols), associated publications, and downloadable open format data files.

How do I download metadata and/or data files?

To download files, navigate to the page of interest (Study, Experiment) and use the left menu to navigate to Files. In the Files panel, click on the folder icon to expand then click on checkbox to select the files of interest. You may click on the folder to select all the files, select one file or multiple files. Once all the files have been selected, click on the Download button. Files will be downloaded to your designated area on your local computer.