Generating and Using EPI_SET Identifiers

GISAID’s EPI_SET functionality permits the aggregation of GISAID Accession Numbers into a single, permanent dataset identifier called EPI_SET ID. This unique identifier is used for both the acknowledgment of data contributors and to permit registered users to retrieve the dataset of all the records encompassed in the EPI_SET ID, thereby aiding in the reproducibility of an analysis.

Generating an EPI_SET ID

Registered Users may generate an EPI_SET ID in myriad ways via the “Search” interface in the EpiCoV™ database. Clicking the “EPI-SET” button displays the EPI-SET generator where users may type, paste, or upload (available formats .tsv, .csv, .xml, and .json) any number of GISAID Accession Numbers. It is also possible to pre-populate the EPI-SET generator by first ticking the checkbox(es) of the desired sample(s). Available search filters may be pre-applied to narrow the universe of suitable records. Clicking on “Generate” will start generate an EPI_SET ID.

Delivery of an EPI_SET ID

Newly minted EPI_SET IDs are sent together with a corresponding digital object identifier (“DOI”) to the User’s email address on file, i.e. in the User profile. A Supplemental Table will be attached to the email which contains relevant information on Data availability, required for example, when submitting a manuscript for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Using an EPI_SET ID

Each EPI_SET ID and the corresponding DOI can be used in any publication to fulfill the essential requirement of acknowledging contributors of data on which any research or analyses are based. By either by clicking on the DOI, or by pasting the EPI_SET ID in the "Data Acknowledgement Locator" on the GISAID homepage (under Resources), anyone – including those without GISAID Access Credentials, may instantly access the details of the data contributors.

EPI_SET IDs can also be used by registered Users in the Search filter of the EpiCoV™ database to retrieve all records that are part of the dataset used in an analysis.


Merely adding an EPI_SET ID in a manuscript or other forms of publication, does not fulfill the requirements to make best efforts to collaborate and acknowledge the contributors of data (see Database Access Agreement at §2.e). To learn more about how to acknowledge data contributors see the Author's Guide for Citing and Acknowledging Data Contributors.

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