Assign sample owners and restricted sample users for containers

  • Updated

You can pre-approve which users and teams have access to samples and more efficiently distribute samples across your teams by assigning sample owners and restricted sample users to containers. Restricting a container limits the actions users can take on that container and its samples. This article explains sample restriction and roles, and how to assign access.

Sample restriction and access

Restriction of and access to samples on the platform uses a two-pronged approach:

  • The sample restriction status, which determines whether a container or sample has restricted use
  • Users that are authorized to access restricted containers and samples

Sample restriction

Containers, with the exception of plate wells, can be assigned restriction statuses of Restricted or Unrestricted. Because sample restriction only applies to non-well containers, plate wells have a restriction status of N/A.

Only sample owners and users who are granted the Restrict sample (container) and Unrestrict sample (container) access policies can restrict and unrestrict samples. Sample owners can also edit restricted sample users.

Sample access

Sample access only applies to restricted containers. Users assigned as restricted sample users on a restricted container can use the samples within. Users can’t take action on restricted containers and samples without explicit access.

Item Type Restriction status Is user a restricted sample user Restriction access
Container Unrestricted N/A N/A
Container Restricted Yes Access granted
Container Restricted No No access
Plate well N/A N/A N/A

Sample roles

Sample roles apply to containers and their contents. The table below explains each role’s permissible actions. 

Role This role can… Who can add and remove users
Restricted sample user
  • Edit container fields
  • Reserve and check out the container
  • Transfer the contents of the container
  • Sample owners
  • Users with the Edit restricted sample users access policy
Sample owner Add or remove restricted sample users from containers they own If the container is:
  • Assigned to a project - admin of the project the container is assigned to
  • Not assigned to a project - Registry admin

Using restricted containers and samples as a restricted sample user

If you encounter a restricted sample or container where you aren’t a restricted sample user, “No access” displays under the restriction access label, and the container label is red, instead of blue.

If you try to perform an action on a restricted sample or container, a pop-up window displays a warning explaining that the sample is restricted. 

  • If it’s an availability warning, you can choose to bypass it by selecting Override warning
  • If it’s a restriction warning, you must de-select the restricted items to proceed. These warnings can’t be overridden. 

Any actions taken on unrestricted samples and containers are recorded in the container’s audit log.

Assign sample owners and restricted sample users

There are several ways to add sample owners and restricted sample users to containers.

Metadata tab

If you’re the admin of the project the container is assigned to, you can assign access in the container’s Metadata tab. To assign access:

  1. In the Sample owners field, enter your name to add yourself as a sample owner. You can also add other users or teams as sample owners here, if you choose.
  2. In the Restricted sample users field, enter the users or teams you want to give access to.

If the Restricted sample users field doesn’t display or you can’t add restricted sample users, confirm:

  1. That the sample is restricted.
  2. You’re listed as a sample owner or are granted the proper access policy.

Inventory table

When inserting an Inventory table into an entry, you can insert fields for restriction status, restricted sample users, and sample owners. Use these fields when creating and updating containers to designate access.

Global and Inventory search to assign in bulk

You can add restriction status, restricted sample users, and sample owners to multiple containers at the same time in global and Inventory searches. To designate access to multiple containers:

  1. Open search from the left-side menu:
    1. Click the lens icon to open global search.
    2. Click the freezer icon to open your Inventory search.
  2. [Optional] Filter by container or search for the containers you need to designate access to.
  3. Click > above the search bar to open the expanded view.
  4. Select the applicable containers and click Edit Field from the toolbar.
  5. Select Restriction status, Restricted sample users, or Sample owners.


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