IRIDA is designed to support collaborative data sharing and analysis.  This allows sequencing centres to store and analyze their own data locally while being able to contribute their results to a larger global context.  This decentralized model is preferred as it reduces the infrastructure requirements of major sequencing centres and allows smaller centres to work more independently. IRIDA’s data sharing functionality is actively used by Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory and its federal and provincial partners participating in foodborne disease surveillance as part of PulseNet Canada.

IRIDA’s data sharing system works by synchronizing data between IRIDA installations.  It allows IRIDA administrators to link up their IRIDA systems over the internet and automatically pull project data, sequencing data, and metadata between them.  This allows users over multiple IRIDA installations to analyze the same datasets for larger research projects or outbreaks.

IRIDA data sharing solutions:

  1. Permission Control – authentication /authorization for information sharing
  2. User role-based display of information

There are often many different investigators, analysts, agencies and other stakeholders involved in infectious disease surveillance and outbreak response. Not only can information sharing during investigations be inefficient and ad hoc, but often data must be recoded and/or reentered into different reporting systems.

IRIDA’s collaborative data management system enables individual instances to connect and share their projects, samples and analyses with authentication control via the industry standard OAuth2 framework. User role permissions control visibility and editing of content. Sample data and results can be shared between IRIDA instances simply by changing user profile permissions, which can be customized according to data governance guidelines, bypassing the need to transmit sensitive information by fax, phone, mail or email. Changing of permissions is permitted transiently or permanently by instance administrators, who can manage their User Groups in such a way as to alter single profiles or assign bulk permissions. Fine-grained access controls allow collaborating labs to maintain ownership and control over their own data, thereby protecting patient privacy while performing analyses.