Sharing and Accessing Networks

Last updated: November 17th, 2017


In NDEx, users have full control on who can and cannot access their networks. Besides setting the network visibility, users can also decide to grant access to their network to specific NDEx users for collaborative purposes. Users can also request access to networks they do not own but they are interested in.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The screenshots in all our user manuals are for training purposes and might be different from the actual screen output you will obtain when working on the current NDEx version deployed to our public server.

Sharing externally

Sharing your private networks with external users is a frequently occuring use case considering the purpose of the NDEx platform. Users may want to collaborate with colleague, include their networks in grant proposals or submit them for publication with their research article.

In all these cases, the networks should only be accessible by a limited number of people that you trust, such as your collaborators or journal editor. To achieve this, NDEx users can take advantage of the "Sharable URL", a feature similar to that available in Google Docs or Dropbox.

  • To do so, select the private network you want to share, click the More button and choose the "Share" option in the drop-up menu:

  • In the top part of the following page, you will see a button to enable the "Sharable URL".

  • After clciking the button, the "Sharable URL" status will change to Enabled and a new "Copy URL" button will conveniently allow you to it copy to your clipboard; then you can paste the URL in an email, include it in a grant proposal or reference it in your article submission.

  • Once the "Sharable URL" is enabled, anyone that has the link will be able to view and download your network: please make sure you share the link only with people you trust.
  • Also, you can now conveniently share the network directly from its page by using the green "Copy URL" button on the top part of the info panel as shown below:

Sharing within NDEx

In case your collaborators are NDEx users as well, you can easily share your private networks with them using the NDEx built-in permission system. To begin, select the private network you want to share, click the More button and choose the "Share" option in the drop-up menu exactly as you did in the section above.

  • In the bottom portion of the following page, you will see a table listing you as the network Admin and 2 search boxes, one for users (on the left) and one for groups (on the right).
  • Search for the users and/or groups you want to share your network with and click the blue "Add" button to add them to the table.
  • You can also decide what level of privilege each user and/or group should have: read, edit or admin.

  • When you are done adding users and deciding their privilege levels, clcik the green "Save Changes" button.

Requesting Access to a Network

If someone has shared a network with you giving you read permission and you would like to be able to edit the network instead, you can ask the owner to upgrade your privilege.

  • To request an upgrade, select the network, click the "More" drop-up button and choose "Upgrade permission".
  • A dialog window will appear allowing you add a personal message to justify your request:

  • All your access requests can be viewed in your NDEx Account page, under the "My Tasks & Notifications" tab. Initially their status will be pending, but it will change once the owner of the network responds to your request.

Granting Access to a Network

Similarly, someone could ask you to upgrade their privilege level on a network you own. Remember that granting edit permission on your network to another person means that this person will be able to modify your network, so this should only be done if you trust the person making the request.

In addition, if your network is a stable public reference, you should never grant edit permission to anyone! Instead, suggest him to create his own copy of the network using the "Clone" feature.

  • All access requests to your networks are displayed in the Tasks & Notifications tab of your "MyAccount" page.
  • To visualize more details about the request and respond, click the request's description: a dialog box will allow you to accept or decline the request and add an optional message.