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Terra is a cloud-native platform for biomedical researchers to access data, run analysis tools, and collaborate.
Terra powers important scientific projects like FireCloud, AnVIL, and BioData Catalyst. Learn more.

Accessing, organizing, and managing data in a cloud-native platform

  • Managing data with tables plus-icon minus-icon

    Workspace data tables (in the Data tab) are a convenient way to reference and organize attributes from different sources, including output files from previous analysis. You can use data tables to store links to data files list files, arrays, varia...
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  • How to import metadata to a workspace data table plus-icon minus-icon

    You can import metadata into your workspace data table by either copying from an existing workspace or importing a file. This article walks through both options.  Contents Copying from an existing workspace Importing a table file Uploading an arr...
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  • Understanding Entity Types plus-icon minus-icon

    Workflows on Terra handle inputs in one of five ways, based on the category the samples - or "entities" - fall in to. This article will help you understand some of the technical details surrounding the five root entity types.  What are the differ...
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  • Accessing data from an external bucket plus-icon minus-icon

    Many users want to launch analyses against data that's already sitting in their own Google buckets without having to copy the contents of those buckets to their workspace bucket. You can do this by simply editing the relevant Jupyter notebook cell...
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  • Accessing and analysing custom cohorts with Data Explorer plus-icon minus-icon

    Many of the datasets hosted by Terra include integrated Data Explorer interfaces, useful for generating and exporting custom cohorts. You can access the Data Explorers (for datasets that have them) from the Dataset Library by clicking "Browse data...
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  • Moving data to/from a workspace Google bucket plus-icon minus-icon

    There are several options for adding data to - or downloading from - your workspace Google bucket. This article outlines four. How many and what size files, whether you are moving to or from local storage - and how familiar you are with the differ...
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  • Where's the link for a file in a workspace Google bucket? plus-icon minus-icon

    A link for a file has two parts: the google bucket ID + filename. 1. Find your Google bucket id rom the workspace home page Click on the clipboard icon at the bottom right to copy the path name to your clipboard: The path will have the format “fs...
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  • Linking Terra to External Servers plus-icon minus-icon

    To use controlled-access data on Terra, you will need to link your Terra user ID to your authorization account (such as a dbGaP account). Linking to external servers will allow Terra to automatically determine if you can access controlled datasets...
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  • Best Practices for Sharing and Protecting Data Resources plus-icon minus-icon

    In the Data Biosphere's cloud-based bioinformatics model, researchers access data shared in a central location, rather than each making a separate copy for their own analysis. Hosted datasets in Terra's data library - both public- and restricted-a...
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  • Understanding and using Gen3 data in Terra plus-icon minus-icon

    Gen3 is an open-source, cloud-based platform that allows researchers to store and search data hosted by consortia like NHLBI BioData Catalyst or AnVIL. This article gives instructions of how to access Gen3 data in Terra, and describes the structur...
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  • Accessing TCGA Controlled-Access workspaces in Terra plus-icon minus-icon

    There are dedicated workspaces if you work with TCGA Controlled Data. This article explains what you need to know to access and use these resources.  Contents Requirements to access TCGA controlled-access data Workspaces Derived Data from Control...
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  • Data Access with the GA4GH Data Repository Service (DRS) plus-icon minus-icon

    The Data Repository Service (DRS) API is a standardized set of access methods that are agnostic to cloud infrastructure. Developed by the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH), DRS enable researchers to access data regardless of the unde...
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  • Who can publish datasets in the library? plus-icon minus-icon

    We are releasing this feature in phases, so currently only users with Data Curator roles can publish Workspaces in the Data Library. To become a Data Curator please contact In the future, we plan to allow all users to ...
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  • Broad Genomics: Downloading data from a Terra workspace plus-icon minus-icon

    This document describes ways users can retrieve data from Terra. Please refer to the documents for setting up a Google App Account (setting up a Google account with a non-Gmail address) and Terra Account if you have not yet registered for an accou...
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  • Using "Requester Pays" workspaces/buckets plus-icon minus-icon

    Requester Pays is an optional  Google setting for data stored on the Google Cloud Platform. It allows dataset owners to make data accessible to everyone without having to pay every time someone reads or copies the data from a different region. Th...
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  • Converting common genomics file formats plus-icon minus-icon

    When you need to convert various sequencing file formats to GATK analysis-ready input formats, we've got you covered.  This curated workspace has tools and instructions for converting the following formats so you can use your data in GATK analysis...
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