EDX Overview

How does EDX work?

EDX is an online clearinghouse for historical and present-day data, which is coordinated from a wide-variety of sources to serve as a research and rapid response tool for energy-related data. This is accomplished with help from users. EDX leverages a crowd-sourcing approach, relying on interaction from users to both contribute new content to the system and help direct future functionality and capabilities for the system by providing feedback to the EDX Support Team.

Users have the ability to contribute 1) data or tools resulting from their own research efforts, as well as 2) key links to externally hosted data that they think are important for others to be able to find and utilize going forward. When users contribute data or an external link, they are asked to provide key metadata for those data including attributes, characteristics, and keywords (ACKs). This metadata is entered into EDX databases and serves as the building blocks for EDX. The ACK information is utilized to compile search results, which will allow others to search and use the information. All data and items submitted are reviewed for general accuracy and completeness prior to being approved for release. Once a contribution is approved, it is made available to the public for search and download/review.

In addition, the EDX Support Team fields all user feedback about the current functionality of EDX, addressing any bugs or issues with EDX’s current performance, as well as accepting suggestions from users on desired functionality.

Contributing to EDX

What can be contributed to EDX?

Data, datasets, tools, and apps should be contributed to EDX by the primary owner or author of the submission, or “co-author” who has the primary author’s permission. It is the contributor’s responsibility to ensure that all team members are aware the data is being contributed to EDX if developed by a group/team.

Who can contribute to EDX?

Any registered user can nominate a link to publicly hosted data or information for inclusion in EDX. The goal of nominating a link to externally hosted data is to help NETL-affiliated researchers efficiently access important data resources, including data sources that have been utilized by NETL-affiliated teams in the past. Any registered user can nominate a link to publicly hosted data or information for inclusion in EDX.

Attributes, Characteristics, and Keywords

What are ACKs?

EDX collects metadata about all submissions, referring to this metadata as ACKs. ACKs are the attributes, characteristics, and keywords (ACKs) of the data or external links stored in the EDX databases. The ACKs serve as the building blocks for EDX and are utilized to compile search results.

Are ACKs different than metadata?

No, ACKs are metadata and are utilized to compile the search results that are returned by EDX. The EDX team has made the metadata/ACK submission process streamlined and efficient for EDX users. Generally, most users can complete an ACK for a new contribution in less than 5 minutes.

Large File Upload

How do I upload files 10 Gigabytes or larger to EDX?

The 10 GB file limitation is a standard file size limitation at present for large files uploaded and downloaded online. If users have datasets larger than 10 GB there is an alternative work flow that supports addition of their dataset to the EDX database and servers.

Can EDX handle large file uploads?

Please fill out the contribution ACK form with all of the information as you would with any other submission. However, on the second page of the contribution ACK form, in the “Resource” and “Name” textboxes, please insert the following text: “LARGE DATA FILE PENDING UPLOAD”. Once your contribution has been submitted, please contact EDX Support and include the title of your EDX submission and a brief overview of the large files contents. The EDX Support Team will work with you to get the data into EDX.

Can EDX handle large file downloads?

EDX can handle large file downloads but the user will be restricted by their Internet download speeds.

Data Review Process

How is data reviewed?

Data/dataset submissions go through a 2-step review process, while link submissions go through a 1-step review process. For data, there is a pre-review, where the data is reviewed to determine if it is affiliated with NETL supported research and if so, if the appropriate information about that support was provided. For both data and links, the final review step involves a review by an appropriate subject matter expert to ensure the general appropriateness and completeness of the contribution, particularly the information completed in the ACK. Once a submission has been approved through the review process, it is added to EDX where it can be searched and downloaded.

The quality of each dataset is not endorsed by EDX or NETL. See NETL disclaimers for more information.

If you question the quality of data within EDX, please contact EDX Support.

Once a dataset or link is added to the EDX database, users who download or use the data can leave feedback about the data/link using a standard 5-star rating system and commenting process. This informal peer-review assists users searching for data and alerts the EDX Support Team to any concerns or issues with accepted contributions.

Data Restrictions

Is it possible to restrict access to my data to a set group of users?

There are two ways to restrict release of data through EDX.

  1. EDX’s Collaborative Workspaces allow NETL-affiliated research teams to set up secure, private working environments for individual research teams/groups. The Collaborative Workspaces utilize role-based security and are intended to allow multi-organizational research teams to work on draft/working data products in a secure, online space. See the EDX Quick Guide for more information about Collaborative Workspaces.
  2. Data can also be restricted to EDX during the final data product contribution to the EDX database. In this process the contributor is asked two questions in the ACK that might limit or restrict distribution of the dataset:
    • Does the dataset have any licensing restrictions? This allows NETL-affiliated researchers to share via EDX commercial or other licensed (e.g. NDA etc) data and restrict it to a select group of users.
    • Is there a release date restriction? If so, how long does that restriction last? This helps to ensure that data is delivered to EDX during a project’s funded performance period (ensuring that NETL receives the data) and offers the research team that developed the data the chance to restrict it from public release while they publish, pursue IP, etc. The period of restriction should be tailored to the need of a given dataset on a case-by-case basis.

Inviting Others to Register for EDX

Is there a template I can use to send out a mass e-mail to my work group inviting them to sign up for an account on EDX?

If you would like to use a template to send out a mass e-mail to your work group, Please click on the “Refer a Friend” button in the upper right or contact EDX Support.

Additional Help

Who do I contact for any questions about EDX access or capabilities?

Why can’t I find what I am looking for?

EDX content is comprised solely of data and links contributed to the system and shared with the public by users like you. If you cannot locate a file, there could be a variety of reasons, including the file has been removed by request of the original submitter or the file is under review by the EDX Support team. Alternatively, if the key words provided by the contributor are incomplete, your search may be challenged. Try modifying your search parameters to see if the file you are looking for is returned. If it is not, please contact EDX Support.

For any additional questions regarding access or capabilities please contact EDX Support.


What is Activity?

The activity feed provides a running log of actions that have occurred within the Collaborative Workspace.