Using the dccvalidator app in AMP-AD


We’ve built the dccvalidator tool to streamline the process of data validation and QA/QC. As the AMP-AD Knowledge Portal has grown to 50+ studies and over 70,000 data files, we’ve realized a need to be more standardized in our approaches to data curation. Thus, we built an application that performs many of the routine data quality checks we previously conducted by hand, with the hopes that it will help you, the data contributor, get your data checked, validated, and shared more easily and quickly.

The application can be found at


To use this application you must:

  1. Be logged in to Synapse in your browser
  2. Be a Synapse certified user
  3. Be a member of the AMP-AD consortium team

Some portions of the app submit data to Synapse. This allows curators at Sage to troubleshoot issues if needed; no one outside the Sage curation team will be able to download the data.


This topic has a general overview of the data contribution process and detailed instructions for each step, including uploading documentation, metadata requirements, validating and reviewing the metadata, and uploading the dataset.

General Process Overview

  1. Contact the AMP-AD team to discuss the study and the expected data. Receive staging folder synIDs for each expected dataset.
  2. Upload documentation and validate metadata + manifest files in dccvalidator.
  3. Contact the AMP-AD team when all files pass validation. The team will verify items not checked by the dccvalidator. Receive permissions to upload data to the staging folder.
  4. Use the validated manifest to upload the data with syncToSynapse (see Synapse documentation for uploading data in bulk).
  5. Contact the AMP-AD team. The team will do the final verifications before releasing the data.

Documentation Upload

Each study in AMP-AD has accompanying documentation in the portal. You can submit your documentation through the dccvalidator app on the Documentation page. There should be a study description for the whole study, and an assay description for each of the assays that was performed. These can be in a single file, or you can upload multiple files to the assay description section. A screenshot of a website with instructions on how to provide documentation of a study, and a space to upload documentation files

Data Validation

Metadata Requirements

Each study should include metadata that would help a new researcher understand and reuse the data. In most cases, we will expect 4 files:

  1. Individual metadata a csv file describing each individual in the study.
  2. Biospecimen metadata a csv file describing the specimens that were collected.
  3. Assay metadata a csv file describing the assay that was performed. If multiple assays were part of the study, there will be one assay file for each.
  4. A manifest listing each file that will be uploaded. You will use this file to upload your data after it has been validated and approved. The manifest should be in tsv (tab-delimited text) format.

We provide templates for all of the metadata files within the portal:!Synapse:syn18512044

You can download these files, fill out the first tab, and save it as a .csv or .tsv file. The other tabs exist to describe the variables and allowed values in the template. If you do not have any data for some of the columns, you can leave them blank (but do not remove the column header).

If you don’t see a template for the assay(s) in your study, or if not all of the metadata types above seem relevant to your study, please get in touch with us at .

Validating the Metadata and Manifest

The data validation portion of the app allows you to upload metadata files (as .csv) and the manifest (as .tsv or .txt) and view the results of a series of automated checks.

Examples of the types of checks we perform are:

  • All required columns from the templates are present
  • Individuals and specimens have unique identifiers
  • Metadata terms conform to a controlled vocabulary where applicable