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Experimental Data and Policies

The ILL is dedicated to helping its visiting researchers to make the most of its facilities. Neutron beams and instrument access are provided free of charge for proposers of accepted experiments.

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Experimental Data and Policies

User Club

The ILL User Club provides online access to all the information and administrative tools for our scientific visitors, presented in a user friendly environment.

ILL Data Policy

November 2011 (1st revision July 2017)

Central facilities for neutron scattering and synchrotron X-rays in Europe are working together increasingly to develop and share infrastructure for the data collected there. Such co-operation should make it easier and more efficient for users to access and process their data, and provide more secure means of storage and retrieval. It should also increase the scientific value of the data by opening it up to a wider community for further analysis and fostering new collaborations between scientific groups. Ultimately this should improve the quality and quantity of publications from such data. However, with these developments comes a need to define how such data and any associated metadata are stored and made accessible, and for this a common data policy has been established to provide a suitable working framework..

The Scientific Council encouraged the ILL to implement a data policy in its meeting in April 2010 to better define, manage and exploit this valuable resource. This proposal was refined through discussion with ILL scientists over the following year, taking into account a number of concerns about possible improper use. For example there will be an embargo period of 3 years that can be extended in a light-touch fashion when there is good reason not to allow it to go public. The Scientific Council congratulated ILL in its meeting of November 2011 for recognising so effectively its responsibility towards the data generated through its experimental programme.

The complete document (1st revision July 2017) describing the ILL data policy can be found here.

The ILL data policy has been applied since 2012, starting with the proposals accepted at the February 2012 proposal round.



Access your data - Data portal

In order to control access to the experimental data obtained at the ILL in a coherent and secure fashion, the ILL has recently developed a single portal for consulting, downloading and managing your data.  Here “data” is understood to mean raw data (i.e. numor files), processed data, and meta-data (e.g. log files or “logs”). offers:

  • Global text search on all documents related to ILL experiments (proposals, data files, reports …).
  • Advanced search allowing filtering by (co-)proposer, instrument, numor, cycle, dates of experiment …
  • Presentation of the list of experiments matching the search criteria (note that a single proposal could involve >1 instruments and thus >1 experiments).
  • Data and information relative to these experiments can then be accessed/download depending on your access authorisation. As an ILL user you can access: data obtained from your own experiments, data from an experiment whose main proposer has specifically granted you access, or data which has been made public.
  • For each experiment’s proposal a set of tabs points to data files and other information (link to the DOI, the proposal text, the logs …).
  • Provided that you are the principal investigator (PI) (normally the main proposer), the “Members” tab allows you to grant another person access to the data, or even to make the data public.
  • Once you have access authorization to a given proposal, the “Data folders” tab allows you to access the content of various sub-folders (pertaining to a particular experiment) containing either raw data or processed data or log files.
  • Alternatively the “Data Ranges” tab allows an authorized user to select and download specific ranges of raw data files corresponding to e.g. different samples and/or temperatures.
  • Be aware that notification will be sent to the PI of the proposal whose data have been downloaded, identifying the downloader to him.
  • Also be aware that the step of making data public is understandably irreversible.

Note that other data access tools coexist with this portal:

  • (Deprecated - will be phase out in 2017) is a browser-based tool for downloading files of any kind via your ILL computer account (ILL data, personal files …).
  • IDA allows downloading of raw data files that predate the ILL Data Policy (i.e. before cycle 123 of Autumn 2012)., the ILL web portal is the recommended solution for accessing, managing and dowloading your experimental data, nevertheless in case of large volume the http protocol does not provide sufficient mechanisms to ensure smooth and reliable transfers, you can opt for solution dedicated to large data transfer.


Publications and DOI:  If you publish results of ILL data, either your own data, data to which you were granted access, or data that were made public, the ILL expects you to cite the DOI reference using the specified format.

Other Tools

The CS Group has developed programs to treat and model many instruments.

You will find these here.