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Data Upload

Data can be uploaded to Datasets in openBIS Experiments and Objects (e.g., Experimental Steps). openBIS is agnostic of file formats and types.

First the Experiment/Object must be registered in the database, and then Datasets can be added to it. Data can be uploaded via the web user interface or via dropbox mechanism, as explained below.

Upload via web interface


  1. Click the Upload button in the form, as shown below.


2. Select the dataset type (e.g. Attachment).

3. Fill in the relevant fields in the form. It is advisable to always enter a Name, because this is shown in the menu. If the name is not provided, the dataset code is shown.

4. Drag and drop files in the Uploader area or browse for files.

5. When uploading a zip file, users have the option to uncompress before import.

6. Save


Note for MacOS users: the default MacOS archiver generates hidden folders that become visible in openBIS upon unarchive. To avoid this there are two options:

  1. Zip using  the following command on the command-line: zip -r  folder-name.zip folder-name  -x “*.DS_Store”
  2. Use an external archiver (e.g. Stuffit Deluxe).

Upload via dropbox

Web upload is only suitable for files of limited size (few GB). To upload larger data, openBIS uses dropbox scripts that run in the background (see Dropboxes). A default dropbox script is provided with the openBIS ELN-LIMS plugin, and the dropbox folder needs to be set up by a system admin. If this is available, users need to put their data in a main folder inside the dropbox folder. The main folder with the data to upload must contain one folder, which in turn can contain several files, sub-folders or a combinations of the two. The main folder needs to be named according to a specified convention and the Dataset upload helper tool for eln-lims dropbox (shown below) can be used to generate the correct name.