Frequently Asked Questions: Depositing Plasmids

1. Which plasmids should I deposit?

We welcome any plasmids or BioParts (in plasmid form) that you are willing to share with the scientific community. We encourage you to submit your plasmid along with the related publications for citation purposes.

2. Is there a fee to deposit my plasmid(s)?

Depositing is free. Pre-paid shipping labels will be provided to facilitate the material shipment.

3. What information is needed to submit a deposit?

When submitting a deposit, you will need the following information:

  • Basic lab information such as the principal investigator name and lab address.

  • Key plasmid information such as the function/purpose, vector backbone, cloning sites, resistance and selection markers, any genes or fusion proteins/tags, and the associated publication.

  • Contact information for the office or individual at your institute that handles outgoing material transfer agreements (MTAs). This is usually a Technology Transfer, Legal, Contracts, or Research Office.

4. How do I send my plasmids?

We will send you a pre-paid label to for your plasmid deposits. We ask that you send them in plasmid DNA form (a minimum of 4µg with concentrations no less than 100ng/µL). If you wish to send them via glycerol stocks, you will have to contact us to coordinate your shipment.

5. How can I submit multiple plasmids in one deposit?

If you are submitting 2-3 plasmids and have the necessary information on hand, you can simply deposit them through our online submission form. If you’re depositing 3 or more plasmids, we recommend you first fill out our plasmid information sheet and upload it instead.

6. Are there any restrictions on what kinds of plasmids I can submit?

At the moment we cannot accept viral packaging plasmids or plasmids that require Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) and above (BSL-3+).

7. What if my plasmids are unpublished?

We accept plasmids that are not published. We can store your plasmids until related article is published, then make them publicly available afterwards. If you wish to share your unpublished plasmids, your name and laboratory information will be listed for citation purposes.

8. What happens to my plasmids once I ship them?

When we receive your plasmids they undergo our quality control, including sequencing, to ensure they are as annotated. Once they pass quality control, they are securely stored in duplicate and available to the scientific community.

1. What is a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)?

A Material Transfer Agreement is an agreement between the recipient and depositing institutions that governs the transfer of tangible research materials, when the recipient intends to use it for their own research purposes. The MTA defines the rights of the provider and the recipient in order to protect the intellectual property of the depositing institutes.

2. Why do we need a MTA to deposit a plasmid?

MTAs are an important part of the deposit process, as they protect the rights of the depositing institutes and prevents uncontrolled distribution of the plasmids. The materials shared on the MolecularCloud are for research use only to non-profit and academic researchers. All Intellectual Property is maintained by the provider (depositor).

3. What is the Uniform Biological Materials Transfer Agreement (UBMTA)?

The UBMTA is a model transfer agreement to facilitate the transfer of biological materials between organizations and institutions. It is a master agreement that was developed by the NIH to simplify transfers of biological research materials

4. How does the MTA process work when depositing a plasmid?
  • The TRANSFER AGREEMENT templates including, Materials Depository and Transfer Agreement and the Materials Transfer Agreement can be downloaded from our webpage, or email and we will send you the documents along with instructions.

    An authorized signature would be needed by your institution's Technology Transfer Office (TTO) or an authorized signatory. We will be glad to facilitate this process by communicating with your institution's TTO directly.

  • The MTA and related documents are sent back to the MolecularCloud and are fully executed.

  • Depositors then can send their plasmid(s) using the shipping labels provided by the MolecularCloud.

  • Once requestors order your plasmid, we will facilitate the MTA and the Implementing Letter signing process between you and the requesting institute.

5. Who is authorized to sign MTAs?

An authorized person that approves legal documents on behalf of your institution. Usually, a member of the Technology Transfer Office, Sponsored Research Administration, or General Counsel Office is authorized to sign the MTA. An academic Dean, head of department, or Principal Investigators if the aforementioned departments are not available.

6. Can we change/modify the terms of the MTA template?

Modification requests regarding all MTA templates can be discussed. Any modifications will need to be reviewed and approved by the legal teams of both parties before acceptance.

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