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Frequently asked questions

Question I've got <an error message> at <step #> in the Submission Portal. How I can fix it?

Answer Refer to the SRA Submission Portal Wizard Troubleshooting Guide for help at every step of your submission.

Question How many samples and experiments do I need?

Tack You may have more than one experiment per sample.

SAMPLE is a record of biological isolate with unique physical properties.

Please refer to the SRA BioProject & BioSample Guide for detailed descriptions and guidelines.

EXPERIMENT is a unique sequencing result for a specific sample.

Tack In the SRA Metadata template, EXPERIMENT is represented by a combination of library + strategy + layout + instrument model and corresponds to one row in the table.

Please refer to the SRA Metadata Overview for better understanding of SRA data organization.

Question What SRA accession do I use for my publication and where can I find it?

Answer We recommend using the BioProject accession (PRJNA#) in publications. A BioProject is an umbrella for all data submitted to the NCBI for a given study.
Each BioProject can be associated with more than one submission in SRA. After you have successfully completed your submission, the SRA will send an email notification with the BioProject accession.

Question My manuscript reviewer is requesting a link to my submission, how do I get one?


  • Log into the Submission Portal's Manage Data Interface
  • Find BioProject of interest by browsing, searching, or filtering all your data
  • Press the button "Reviewer link".
    Generate reviewer link for SRA data

    Note: (1) The link expires after the release of the data and (2) the SRA provides access to the metadata only.

Question I received notification that my submission has been released. Why can't I find it in Entrez?

Answer It may take up to 3 days for your submission to be searchable in Entrez. However, it will become public and searchable almost immediately in SRA Run Selector.

Question Why doesn't my Aspera upload work?

Answer For troubleshooting Aspera service please refer to Aspera Support offsite image.

Question I registered my BioProject as well as BioSamples but I was never prompted to upload my sequence datafiles for the SRA.

Answer To deposit your files in the SRA you need to create and finish (submit) a new submission in the SRA Submission Portal. Please refer to our Quick Start guide.

Question How do I create more than one EXPERIMENT (library/replicate) per SAMPLE in Submission Portal?

Answer Each row in the SRA metadata template represents one EXPERIMENT. Simply use the same BioSample accession or name (depending on the template) in rows (EXPERIMENTs) that you want to associate with this sample.

Question How do I create more than one RUN per EXPERIMENT in Submission Portal?

Answer Only one RUN per EXPERIMENT is allowed in the Submission Portal. When libraries are indeed identical (same combination of library + strategy + layout + instrument model), all files should be placed in the same RUN. To do this simply enter the file names consecutively in the same row.

Question How do I delete my submission (SUB#) in Submission Portal?

Answer To delete SRA submissions please contact SRA staff for assistance at sra@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Provide SUB# and reason. To delete BioProject or BioSample submissions please contact BioProject or BioSample staff at bioprojecthelp@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov and biosamplehelp@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov respectively Provide SUB# and reason.

Question How do I add more samples to my SRA submission in Submission Portal?

Answer Submission is a descrete act of depositing data (transaction). You cannot add data to a submission. Instead, you need to add new samples and new SRA data and/or new SRA data to existing samples to a BioProject. BioProject serves as an umbrella for all data submitted to the NCBI for a given research project. In order to update your bioproject with new samples and/or SRA data you should create a new submission where you provide the BioProject accession (PRJNA#) of the project you want to update. This will ensure that all pertinent data are linked to the same accession in Entrez and become searchable across databases.

Question I uploaded all data files into my personal folder but I cannot see any files or folders when prompted to select one.

Answer Please make sure that you uploaded your files into subfolder (the subfolder should not contain nested directories!) that you created within your account folder (root directory uploads/user@email.com_xyz. If you uploaded your files directly into your account, create a subfolder (mkdir <name>), move your files into this directory (example of FTP command line: rename fish.fastq ./data_folder/fish.fastq) and allow 15 minutes for file discovery before selecting it when prompted.

Question My manuscript has been published. How do I update my SRA submission with the publication?

Answer Please refer to the SRA Update Guide

Question How do I improve/correct my metadata after submitting?

Answer Please refer to the SRA Update Guide

Question How do I withdraw my SRA STUDY/EXPERIMENT/RUN in SRA (SRP#/SRX#/SRR#)?

Answer Contact the SRA staff for assistance at sra@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Provide SRP#, SRX#, SRR#, etc. or your submission's ID in the form of SUB#.
SRA follows INSDC policy for withdrawal and suppression requests: http://www.insdc.org/documents/insdc-status-document

Question How do I re-name my EXPERIMENT/RUN?

Answer Aliases of EXPERIMENTs and RUNs cannot be changed. They are used for internal tracking only which means that they will not be visible to the public during normal usage of the database. However, you always can improve the Title of the EXPERIMENT by logging in the SRA User Interface directly, editing text in the EXPERIMENT's field Title and clicking the button Save.

Check Please refer to Updating SRA data help page for more information.

Question How do I change the PLATFORM in my EXPERIMENTs?

Answer Contact SRA staff for assistance at sra@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Answer Log in the SRA User Interface and provide correct BioSample accession (in the form of SAMN# or SRS# in appropriate BioSample accession field. Click the button Save.

Answer Contact SRA staff for assistance at sra@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

Contact SRA

If you were unable to resolve your problem after reading this guide contact SRA staff at sra@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

Exclamation point Always include all pertinent identifiers (SUB#, PRJNA#, SRP#, SRX#, SRR#, etc.) and state your problem clearly.

Exclamation point Please do not create duplicate submissions!

Support Center

Last updated: 2022-06-16T12:36:36Z