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Getting Started

How can I use the SPARC Portal?
Updated at: 09/27/2021

Overview of SPARC Portal

The SPARC Portal provides interactive access to a growing collection of multi-modal data that focus on the role of the autonomic nervous system in controlling organ function. These resources are made available to the public with the intent of advancing bioelectronic medicine towards more precise treatment of diseases and conditions. Currently, data submission is limited to SPARC-funded investigators, but our long-term goal is to make this a resource to which the larger community can contribute.

Take a look at the SPARC Portal Walkthroughs on the SPARC YouTube channel.

Table of Contents

Home Page

The home page is the primary landing page for the SPARC Portal and will contain the following subsections. On the home page, you will be able to quickly gain valuable information about the SPARC program, such as recent news and event highlights, and testimonials from researchers in the autonomic neuroscience community. More importantly, you are able to take action and explore the data available on the SPARC Portal.

Portal Home page

The header offers key actions to take on the Portal. This includes the ability to find or search for relevant data that you may be interested in, valuable resources used by the SPARC community, news and events of interest. Additionally, you can learn more about the SPARC program and the Portal, send a note to the SPARC Portal team, or read help documentation to explore any questions you may have.

SPARC Homepage Header

The footer also links to valuable information of interest to the SPARC community and beyond. This includes funding opportunities, a link to the official NIH website for the SPARC program, a link to provide feedback on the SPARC Portal, a link to view the Privacy Policy for the site, and the ability to sign up for the SPARC email listserv.

Portal Footer

Find Data

The key offering of the SPARC Portal is the collection of well-curated, high-impact data that is being generated by SPARC-funded researchers. Here, you will be able to explore and search the data, organs, projects, and simulations that are part of this robust program.

Portal Find Data

Datasets

Here, you can find all the publicly available datasets that have been generated as part of the SPARC program.

Portal Dataset Details

You can see descriptive information about each dataset, including:

  • Description
  • Contributors
  • Total size
  • Total number of files
  • License
  • DOI
  • Link to experimental protocol used
  • NIH Award
  • Keywords
  • Citation information

You also can see all the files within the dataset by navigating to the files tab. There is also a link on the dataset landing page that links to a documentation article describing the file/folder structure of curated datasets for easy navigation and understanding.

SPARC Homepage Dataset Files

Files

You can also select an individual file to open a file details page. This page provides some high-level information about the file and allows you to download the file in question. Additionally, for some file types (e.g., Microsoft Office, Biolucida), there is a viewer that allows you to open the file on the Portal.

Portal Image Viewer

Organs

You can see all of the organs that are being investigated as part of the SPARC program. You can see a brief description of the organ and its function. You can also see all of the relevant datasets and projects that are associated with that organ and navigate directly to them.

Dataset Organs

Projects

All of the funded projects that are part of the SPARC program can be seen here. You can see the Principal Investigator, Institution, and Award number, as well as a link directly to the project listing on NIH RePORTER. Additionally, you can see all of the published datasets that are available as part of that project.

Projects tab

Simulations

From the SPARC Portal, you can view, interact with, and run several template computational pipelines that SPARC teams have published. You can see descriptive information about the simulation, including:

  • Description
  • Contributors
  • Total size
  • Total number of files
  • License
  • DOI
  • NIH Award
  • Keywords
  • Citation information

Portal Simulation Details

You can also open and run the simulation in the o²S²PARC platform by clicking on the Run Simulation button.

Tools and Resources

A list of tools and resources that are heavily used by the SPARC community is shown here. You can see a brief description of each resource, sort by platform or tool, and navigate directly to the resource itself.

Portal Tools and Resources

This list is expected to continue to grow over time, so be sure to check in regularly!

Maps

The integrated maps viewer of the SPARC Portal provides interactive access to a growing collection of data, maps, and computational studies that focus on the autonomic nervous system's role in controlling organ function. It comprises of the flatmap, scaffold and data viewers. Read help documentation to explore any questions you may have.

Portal Maps

News and Events

Here you will see a list of relevant events of interest for the SPARC community. This includes date/time information, location, and a link to the event itself. The news section shows the latest news published about the SPARC program and a community spotlight section highlights the SPARC science achievements and breakthroughs.

Portal News and Events 1 Portal News and Events 2

This list is expected to continue to grow and change over time, so be sure to check in regularly!