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FAQs | FaceBase

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FaceBase serves as a "one stop shop" for craniofacial researchers. We are a collaborative NIDCR-funded project that houses comprehensive data in support of advancing research into craniofacial development and malformation. Since 2018, we have opened up to the community and allow submissions from the craniofacial research community at large to continually enhance and improve our data offerings, which spotlights high-throughput genetic, molecular, biological, imaging and computational techniques. One of the missions of this project is to facilitate cooperation and collaboration between the central coordinating center (ie, the Hub) and the craniofacial research community.

FaceBase Data fits into one of two broad categories: open and controlled access.

Open access is available on the FaceBase Data Browser to any interested user and does not require any formal registration. Open-access data is limited to summary-level human data (ex: averaged facial measures), and all non-human data.

Controlled access includes all individual-level human data (ex: demographic descriptors, phenotypic measures, 3D images) and requires the requestor to complete and submit the Data Access Request form and an IRB approval from your organization as described in How do I request access to controlled human data?

Currently, FaceBase has data for humans, mice, zebrafish, chimpanzee, and chick.
Although you no longer need an account to download data, a FaceBase account is still recommended:
  • You need an account in order to export data to a BAG (recommended for obtaining many or very large files).
  • You'll be added to a distribution list that keeps you updated on new features, updated policies, recent data releases and other important information for using the FaceBase system.
  • There are some new features we will be rolling out in the coming years that will require a FaceBase account.
No, FaceBase is NIH-funded and free.

In the upper right corner, click "Sign Up" and follow the steps.

After clicking 'Sign In',

  • You will be able to choose a method of logging in - ie, in many cases, you'll be able to use your university or organization credentials.
  • Fill out the fields.
  • Your application will be forwarded to the Hub for approval. Only applications for research purposes will be approved and the Hub may contact you for more information.
  • Once the Hub has approved your request, you will receive notification via email and then be able to login to FaceBase.

An email will be sent to the email address entered during registration.
Between 24-48 hours from the time the request is received.

Our account management and authentication system is GlobusID, powered by Globus Online . Globus is a non-profit service for the research community operated by the University of Chicago and Globus Online is a powerful data transfer and authentication system designed for performance, reliability and scalability. We are using their very secure authentication system that also works securely with other Identity Providers such as Google and InCommon.

Since October 2016, new FaceBase accounts may be created using existing university credentials (via InCommon) or Google. For accounts created before this time, your account login is referred to as a GlobusID.

In order to request controlled-access data, follow the instructions described here: .

The major steps of the process are:

  1. Complete the FaceBase Data Use Certification (DUC) Agreement including required signatures.
  2. Fill out the online Data Access Request (DAR) form (this requires an IRB approved by your institution).
  3. Print the DAR and obtain the required signatures.
  4. Upload PDFs of the signed DUC and DAR agreements to the online DAR and submit.

You shall receive an answer from the Data Access Committee within 4-6 weeks.

Once your request is processed, you are notified via email that your user account is approved for human dataset downloads. Note that this permission to download human data expires 180 days after the date of approval.

If you have any questions regarding this process or need help with downloads please contact the FaceBase Help Desk via email: help AT

For questions related to IRBs, please consult the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' site for the Office of Human Protections (OHRP) , in particular Register IRBs & Obtain FWAs .

For questions related to IRBs, please consult the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' site for the Office of Human Protections (OHRP) , in particular the OHRP International Program .

Yes. The ability to download human data expires a year after the approval date.
No, your FaceBase account does not expire.
When viewing a Dataset, Experiment or Replicate page, there will be various sections describing different types of available data such as "Imaging data" or "Tracks". Links with the download icon indicate data files that you can download to your local computer. For a large number of files or very large files, we recommend using the Export button to export a BAG which you can use with our client tools to fetch the assets (Documentation TBD). As of Fall 2019, you no longer need to have a FaceBase account to download data.

To cite a particular dataset, click the "Share" button that appears on every dataset and experiment page for citeable references. Learn more at How to Cite Us.

To cite the FaceBase Consortium, please include the following citation:

Data was obtained from FaceBase ( and generated by project [insert grant number]. The FaceBase consortium and the FaceBase Data Management Hub (1U01DE024449-01) are funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
You can contact the provider of the data directly. Each dataset includes a link to their profile page, which contains contact information.
FaceBase has announcements and updates located on the homepage. You can also sign up for our mailing list here .

As of Fall 2019, the FaceBase respository is open for data submissions from the craniofacial research community.

Please go to our Contributing section to learn the process and best practices for contributing data to FaceBase.

Yes. As of Fall 2020, the FaceBase Hub is now on Twitter. See our handle: @FaceBaseDataHub
Email help AT to inquire about contacting a speaker.
FaceBase does not accept advertising from outside sources.