Data within LabKey is ordinarily contained and restricted for use in a specific folder. In cases when you want to provide wider data access across a site, this topic summarizes various options for making data more broadly available outside of a specific folder.


SQL queries have access to every container, allowing you to pull in data from anywhere on the server. For details see Queries Across Folders.

Queries can also be made available in child folders: see Edit Query Properties.

Custom Grids based on queries can also be made available in child folders: see Customize Grid Views.

Folder Filters can expand the scope of a query to range over different containers: see Query Scope: Filter by Folder.

Linked Schemas

Linked schemas let you pull in data from an existing LabKey schema in a different folder. The linked schema may expose some or all of the tables and queries from the source schema. The linked tables and queries may be filtered such that only a subset of the rows and/or columns are available. Linked schemas are unique in that they can give users access to data they would not otherwise have permission to see. All the other approaches described here require the user to have permission to the container in which the data really lives. For details see Linked Schemas and Tables.

Custom Grids based on linked schema queries can also be made available in child folders: see Customize Grid Views.

Lookups and Reports

Lookup columns let you pull in data from one table into another. For example, setting up a lookup to a list or dataset as the common source for shared content, can simplify data entry and improve consistency. Lookups can target any container on the site. See Lookup Columns.

R Reports can be made available in child folders. For details see: Saved R Reports.


When you create a published or ancillary study, LabKey Server creates a new folder (a child folder of the original study folder) and copies snapshots of selected data into it, assembling the data in the form of a new study.

Publishing a study is primarily intended for presenting your results to a new audience. For details see Publish a Study.

Ancillary studies are primarily intended for new investigations of the original study's data. For details see Ancillary Studies

Sharing datasets and timepoints across multiple studies is an experimental feature. See Shared Datasets and Timepoints.

Assay Data

To give an assay design project-wide scope, create the design at the project level instead of specifying the subfolder. Project-level assay designs are available in every folder and subfolder of the project.

For site-wide access, create the assay design in the Shared project.

Assay data can also be made available in child folders: see Customize Grid Views.

Assay runs and results can be linked to any study folder on the site (to which the linking user has permission). See Link Assay Data into a Study.

Sample Types

Create a Sample Type in the Shared project to have access to it site-wide, or create it in the project for access in that project's subfolders. See Samples.

Sample data can be linked to any study folder on the site (to which the linking user has permission). See Link Sample Data to Study.

Collaboration Tools

Wiki pages defined in a given container can be reused and displayed in any other container on the server. For details see: Wiki Admin Guide.

If you create an Issue Tracker definition in the Shared project, it will be available site wide. Created in the project, it will be available in all folders in the project.


Folders store and access files on the file system via the file root. The default root is specific to the container, but if desired, multiple containers can be configured to use the same set of files from the file system using a custom pipeline root. See File Root Options.

Using a Premium Edition of LabKey Server you can also configure one or more file watchers to monitor such a shared location for data files of interest.


Scoping access to data through security groups and permissions is another way to control availability to your data. Set up site or project groups for your users, and choosing when to use inheritance of permissions in subfolders gives you many options for managing access.

You can also expose only a selected subset of your data broadly, while protecting PHI for example, using row and column level permissions as outlined here:

Related Topics

Was this content helpful?

Log in or register an account to provide feedback

expand allcollapse all