Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I volunteer to be part of the Human Microbiome Project?

A: The HMP is no longer accepting volunteers to be sequenced. For more information about how participants were recruited please see a full list of study inclusion/exclusion criteria. If you would like to have your own gut microbiome sampled and sequenced, consider looking into the American or British Gut Projects

Q: Do I need permission to use the HMP/iHMP data in my own scientific research?

A: No. The HMP is designated as a community resource project to accelerate access to, and use of HMP data by the entire scientific community. We do ask that you cite the HMP consortium papers.

Q: How do I cite the Human Microbiome Project?

A: When citing the Human Microbiome Project in general please use the HMP consortium publications:

     When citing the integrative Human Microbiome Project please use the following consortium publication, or search our Publications page for project specific publications:

Q: Do I need an account to access HMP data and resources?

A: No. All HMP data and resources are freely available for browsing and download.

Q: How can I access the metadata for HMP1 metagenomic samples?

A: Metadata for all samples is available through the project catalog. Additional metadata (such as age, medical history, dietary habits, etc.) is kept confidential by the NIH and accessible only to authorized users through NCBI dbGAP. Researchers can request access to this data through this page. Click on the link to request authorized access.

Q: Can I perform a BLAST search against the HMP data sets?

A: We do not provide a BLAST server against HMP data, however Entrez BLAST submissions can be limited to HMP data by including "43021[BioProject]" in the Entrez Query field..

Q: How can I obtain an HMP reference strain?

A: Reference strains are available through strain repositories such as ATCC and BEI. Details for each strain are available in the project catalog (Strain Repository ID column).

Q: Can I get a list of organisms that make up the human microbiome?

A: We used a variety of methods to analyze the 16S and shotgun metagenomic reads in order to determine organism abundance in each sample. The results are available on the community profiling pages:
HMMCP - 16S mothur community profiling
HMQCP - 16S Qiime community profiling
HMSCP - Shotgun community profiling
HMSMCP - Shotgun MetaPHlAn community profiling

Q: Can I get the protocols that were used by the HMP?

A: Yes. The Tools & Technology page provides access to protocols and tools developed and/or used by the HMP Consortium, allowing users to replicate analyses on HMP or custom datasets.

Q: How do I contact you?

A: If you want to ask us a question or send us comments, please use the feedback form.

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