Frequently Asked Questions

Browse our Frequently Asked Questions below. The answers to many questions can be found elsewhere in the help documentation. Free text search is also available. Can’t find what you are looking for? Email

Creating an Account

Is there a charge for creating an account?

  • No, it is free to create an account and use HydroShare.

How do I create an account?

  • Go to and click on Join Now in the top center of the page. Alternatively, click Sign in, and then select Join HydroShare Now. Fill out the form and check your email for a verification link.

Can I use HydroShare without creating an account?

  • You can discover and download public resources but you cannot upload or publish resources without creating an account first. An account is also required to join Groups.

How can I change my email address on my existing profile?

  • Go to the top right of your HydroShare interface and click on your profile icon. This will take you to your profile. In the top right corner, select the pencil icon that will allow you to edit your profile. Scroll all the way down the page. You will find a space to change your email address in the bottom right. Once you have changed it, you will receive an email asking you to confirm the change. Once you have confirmed, the email will change to the new one that you have specified. 

Uploading Content

What data types/file types are supported?

  • All data and file types are supported in HydroShare. Learn about content types Here. Some content types can be viewed using Hydroshare Apps.

Can I edit or delete my resource data and/model after it has been made public?

  • As long as you have not formally published the resource and received a DOI, you can always edit a public resource. You may consider creating a new resource version if you make significant changes to a resource.

Is there a right or wrong way to add data to HydroShare?

  • It is important to remember that your resource is only as good as your metadata. There are defintely best practices when it comes to data management and publication in HydroShare, learn more about them here. But in general, err on the side of being more descriptive with your metadata than less. 

Filling Out Metadata

Are there metadata requirement examples (or templates) for publishing/storing/and sharing different types of data in HydroShare?

How do I set spatial (geographic) coverage on a resource?

  • There are a few ways to do this. The first way to set geographic coverage is to put your resource in “edit” mode, scroll down, and drop a pin or define a bounding box on the map. You can also specify latitude and longitude coordinates and the pin will be added to the map based on the entered coordinates. 
  • If your resource contains files that each relate to different geographic regions, select “edit” on your resource, and right click a file in the content section to add metadata. Once all content level spatial metadata has been set, you will be able to scroll back up and select “set spatial coverage from content files”. The resulting resource level spatial coverage will encompass all content level spatial coverage. Learn more here

Publishing Content

Can you edit a resource after you have formally published it?

  • Yes and no, but mostly no. Certain metadata fields can be edited but the most essential parts of your resource, the authors and the content, cannot be edited after publication. Users also cannot delete published resources. 

Can I delete a published resource?

  • Users cannot delete published resources. If you need to delete or make more serious changes to a published resource, contact Make sure that your resources are complete upon publication. Please do not publish “test” resources. It costs money to assign a DOI, and DOIs are permanent.  

How does CUAHSI/HydroShare assist with data publication prior to publication of findings in peer-reviewed journals? 

  • CUAHSI Support staff are available to help. They may be reached at  You may publish data and receive a DOI separately from and prior to it being cited in a peer-reviewed publication.  However, note that once you formally publish a resource only limited editing is available and the resource cannot be deleted (except that administrators can delete content in drastic circumstances).

What is the HydroShare DOI pattern?

Is there a way to cite a paper that describes the data in the resource?

  • Part of HydroShare’s metadata model includes related resources. This lets one add a Relation to a resource that cites the associated paper. Learn about Relations here.

Discovering Content

Do you need to have a HydroShare account to discover data and models?

  • Users may discover and download data without having to create a HydroShare account but are required to create an account to upload and/or publish data and models, to use group collaboration functionality, and to use any HydroShare app. The Discover page includes only data and models that other HydroShare users have uploaded and made public or discoverable. To learn more navigate to Discovering, Accessing, and Downloading Data and Models. 

Understanding your Quota

How much storage am I allocated and can I have more?

  • The automatic quota allocation upon account creation is 20 gigabytes. Users can track their quota in their profile page, and if needed, request reasonable quota increase. Requests for quota increase will need to be explained, and users can indicate how much additional storage they need. Requests can be quite short and all reasonable requests will be approved subject to system capacity limitations. These requests will be promptly reviewed by a member of the HydroShare team, but if you wish to withdraw your request, you can do so in the same location you submitted it, on your profile page. 

How should I upload large files to HydroShare?

  • You can use iRods to upload large files to your resources. Learn more about iRods here.

I am getting a quota warning but my resources do not add up to my quota, why?

  • If this is happening to you, check your profile page and see if some of your storage is being used up in the iRods userzone. Files in your user zone contribute to your quota. Delete any files sitting in your user zone to clear up space. If this does not fix the issue, contact

Using Groups

What are groups: learn more here

How do I decide to make my group public, discoverable, or private?

  • Public: The group and its membership is visible to all
  • Discoverable:  The group name and description is visible, but nothing else. 
  • Private: The group is hidden from non-members, making membership effectively by invitation only
  • For discoverable and public groups, clicking the Ask to Join button generates an email to the owner.  They can then approve joining. It is also possible to set a group to automatically accept ownership requests, making it a truly open group.

Using HydroShare in the Classroom and in Workshops

Can I use HydroShare in my class or workshop?

  • Yes, we encourage our users to teach others how to share, discover, and collaborate around data, models, and code. Get in touch with to learn how others have used HydroShare in their workshops and classrooms. Please contact if you are planning a workshop or classroom that falls on a Tuesday.


HydroShare, HydroServer, and HydroClinet: What is the difference? 

  • While HydroShar eis a gerenal purpose, file agnostic data repository, HydroServer and HydroClient fall under the umbrella of HIS or hydrologic information systems. Both HydroShare and HIS are administered and maintained by CUAHSI, but HIS is a system specifically for time series data. HIS follows a strict upload template that adheres to ODM 1.1 data formatting standards. Once data are uploaded through HydroServer, they are disoverable through HydroClient. Both HydroShare and HIS offer DOIs for data and make data discoverable. 

How does HydroShare archive data?

  • The data is held in a data center at RENCI at UNC Chapel Hill. In addition to the active storage there is failover redundant storage in an offsite location for data recovery.

How long does HydroShare archive data?

  • CUAHSI is committed to maintaining availability of published data indefinitely. CUAHSI data services are a National Science Foundation facility, so while still subject to 5-year funding cycles, there is an implied commitment for funding to be ongoing to maintain the data.

When does HydroShare maintenance occur?

  • Most website maintenance occurs on Tuesday mornings every four weeks. There is little to no downtime associated with updates.