Frequently Asked Questions
|Accounts||Why Deposit with Addgene?|
|Placing New Orders||How to Deposit Plasmids|
|Existing Orders||Managing Deposits|
|Pricing, Payment, and Billing||Rewards Points|
|Material Transfer Agreements|
A: To create an account, just go to our registration page and complete our simple registration process.
A: This means that the Addgene system did not recognize the institution you listed on your account profile. This happens if your institution has never ordered from us before, or if the name of your institution was entered in an unrecognized format (using abbreviations, acronyms, etc). The Addgene team verifies new accounts regularly, and you will typically hear from us within 1 business day of creating an account.
A: To login, you must enable your browser to accept cookies from www.addgene.org. You may also need to try a different browser, such as Firefox or Chrome. If you are still having problems, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to verify your login information.
A: This is up to you, but Addgene recommends that each person have his or her own account. Separate accounts help minimize confusion and maintain privacy. They also help you to track plasmids you personally have ordered from and deposited to Addgene. If you would like to use your lab’s account to place an order, you will need to get the username and password from the person who created the account. Otherwise, you can create your own account.
A: Unfortunately, no. All orders must be placed on our website (www.addgene.org) due to the legal documents we generate with each order. We recommend that the recipient scientist who will be using the materials places the order, but orders can be placed by any member of your lab or your institution’s purchasing office. You can find instructions on how to order at our Ordering Plasmids page.
A: Addgene recommends that scientists place their own orders, as they will need to fill out the required MTA forms. However, purchasing agents can also order on behalf of scientists. When you place the order, please make sure you have the requesting scientist’s name and email, as well as the Principal Investigator's name so that the MTA’s will be generated correctly. Incorrect information will delay the order process.
A: To place an order, you will need:
A: If you have not received an email order confirmation from Addgene, your order is most likely not in our system. All orders must be placed directly through our website: www.addgene.org. Once placed, you will receive an order confirmation email. If your order was faxed or emailed to us, we do not have it as all orders must be placed directly on our website. If you would like to confirm that your order was not placed on our website, contact us with the item numbers of your order and we can check for you. Please visit our Ordering Plasmids page for more details or contact us at email@example.com with any questions.
A: Addgene is distributing a limited portion of its plasmid collection to for-profit entities. Click here for more information.
If a material you are interested in is not available for distribution to for-profit entities, you will not be able to order it through Addgene. Instead, you will need to contact the institution that originally deposited the material to Addgene and see if you can obtain it directly from them. If you are interested in getting contact information for the depositing institution, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may be able to provide it to you.
A: On Addgene's website, search for the depositing PI's name to navigate to the PI's page. Then click the “learn more about research” link. This will bring you to the depositing lab’s website, which should include contact information.
A: You can find a list of the current status of all your orders by logging into your Addgene account and clicking on the “Open Orders” link in the “My Account” box on the left side of the homepage screen.
A: The Addgene team can help you to change or update almost anything about your order, including removing plasmids (but not adding them), changing the PI or recipient scientist’s name or email, and updating payment or the shipping/billing address. Please email us at email@example.com and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.
A: Unfortunately, no. If you would like to order additional plasmids, you will need to cancel your original order by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org with your order number. You can then place a new order consisting of all the plasmids you want, including those from the order you had already placed. You will not be charged twice, but you will need to complete a new MTA for the new order.
A: Unfortunately no, Addgene's software does not allow us to combine orders. If you would like, we can cancel both orders and you can place a new one containing all the plasmids you need in one order. To use this option, please contact email@example.com. Please note that if your order has already been processed for shipment, we will not be able to cancel it.
A: You can email the Addgene team at firstname.lastname@example.org with your order number and request a cancellation. Note however that if your order has already been processed for shipment, we will not be able to cancel it.
A: Addgene does not accept returns. However, if there is an error associated with your order, please contact Addgene at email@example.com within 30 days. Addgene will either: (1) replace wrongfully delivered materials or (2) provide a refund (not including shipping and handling). Please see our Terms of Purchase for more details on warranty and liability information.
A: You can find a list of previous orders by logging into your Addgene account and clicking on the “My Orders” link in the “My Account” box on the left side of the homepage screen. Note that if you have a current order processing, this link will read “Open Orders” but will also include past orders.
A: Academic and non-profit customers: Please see our Order Plasmids page for pricing information.
For-profit and industry customers: Please see our Distribution to Industry page for pricing information.
A: Addgene’s goal is to make research tools available to the entire scientific community. If your laboratory cannot afford the standard prices, Addgene can help defray this cost. This policy exists to enable the distribution of materials to underfunded labs (e.g. in developing countries). If you believe your lab qualifies, please email Addgene at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief explanation of your financial situation and the number of plasmids you wish to order. Every discount code is unique and is based on the number of plasmids being ordered.
A: Our website is set up to help you create a quote. Just login to your Addgene account and add the plasmids you want to your cart. Then go to your cart and click “Print Quote for Purchasing Department”.
When you are ready to place your order, navigate to your cart, click the “Checkout” button, and complete the checkout process. Please make sure your purchasing department knows that while you can use a purchase order number as payment information when checking out, all orders must be placed directly on www.addgene.org. We cannot accept faxed or emailed purchase orders.
A: During the checkout process, you can enter a credit card or purchase order (PO) number as payment. If you choose to pay by credit card, Addgene will charge your card after your order ships. If you choose to pay by purchase order, Addgene will issue an invoice to the billing address you provide during checkout. This invoice can be paid by check, bank transfer (non-US customers only), or credit card. Payment terms are net 30 days from the invoice date.
A: Addgene accepts VISA, MasterCard, & American Express during the checkout process online. Here’s what you need to know:
A: Addgene accepts PO numbers as payment during the checkout process online. Here’s what you need to know:
A: Please select the “Pay by Purchase Order” option during checkout and enter your full name in the “P.O. Number” field. After you order ships, Addgene will issue an invoice to the billing address you provide during checkout to request payment. The invoice can be paid by check or bank transfer (non-US customers only). Payments terms are net 30 days from the invoice date.
A: Please select the “Pay by Purchase Order” option during checkout to have an invoice sent to you or your institution. If your institution does not use PO numbers, you can enter your full name in the “P.O. Number” field. After your order ships, Addgene will send an invoice which will include banking details and instructions for bank transfer payment. Here are a few general guidelines for paying by bank transfer:
A: For orders paid by PO, Addgene will mail an invoice to the billing address entered at checkout after the order ships. For orders paid by credit card, Addgene will email a receipt after the order ships. In either case, invoices are always available upon request from email@example.com after an order has shipped.
A: Addgene ships plasmids as bacterial stabs at room temperature via UPS. Once your order ships, Addgene will send you a UPS tracking number that will allow you to track the shipment’s progress. For locations in the US, orders are generally delivered in 1-3 business days from the ship date. For international locations, delivery ranges from 3-14 days from the ship date. Stabs are stable for up to 2 weeks in transit.
Non-US Customers: please visit our International Page for country specific shipping and customs information.
A: For all shipments in the US, and for most international locations, kits are shipped as bacterial glycerol stocks on dry ice. For some international locations, due to customs regulations, kits will be shipped at room temperature. Each kit comes with detailed instructions for how to recover the samples. Please note that if an order includes BOTH individual plasmids and a kit, the items may be shipped separately.
Non-US Customers: please visit our International Page for country specific shipping and customs information.
A: Yes! Addgene has shipped thousands of orders to over 60 countries since 2004. We include a very thorough customs invoice and shipper’s declaration with every order, which helps most orders clear customs with no problems. Please note that requesting scientists are responsible for making arrangements for prompt payment of applicable duties and taxes assessed by your country’s customs agent. Please visit our International Page for more information.
A: Addgene cannot process or ship orders until the necessary Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) are approved by your institution. You can typically expect your order to ship within 2-3 business days after completing the MTA process.
A: You will be emailed a shipping notification when your order ships from Addgene's facility. The UPS tracking number for your order will be included in this email.
A: Generally, the plasmid stabs will last a maximum of two weeks in transit.
A: After receiving your samples, Addgene recommends that you store the bacterial stabs at 4 degrees Celsius for no longer than 2 weeks. Bacterial colonies should be picked with a sterile swab and grown to produce plasmid DNA or bacterial glycerol stocks for long term storage. View our protocol for recovering plasmids from your stab culture.
A: The Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is an agreement between the recipient and the depositing institutions that governs the transfer of scientific materials, and it offers intellectual property and liability protection for the material providers. Institutions and laboratories that have deposited materials at Addgene require us to use MTAs for all plasmid transfers.
For transfers between non-profit or academic institutions, Addgene uses the Uniform Biological Materials Transfer Agreement (UBMTA). This agreement must be signed by an authorized representative of the recipient institution before Addgene can ship the plasmids to the requesting scientist.
For more information on MTAs, please review the FAQs below and visit our MTA page.
A: A limited portion of Addgene’s collection is available for distribution to for-profit entities. These available materials will be transferred under an Industry Material Transfer Agreement. Please click here for additional information.
A: For each plasmid ordered from Addgene, a Recipient Scientist Acknowledgement form must be signed by the recipient scientist. These forms must be completed by the scientist who will be using the materials in the order. Some institutions may require the Principal Investigator of the recipient’s lab to complete the RSA. In those cases, we ask that the recipient forward the form on to their PI.
A: Please see our MTA page for an explanation of the MTA approval process.
A: The length of the MTA process depends on how quickly your institution approves the MTA. Approval times vary from a few hours to a few weeks depending on the institution. To expedite the process, Addgene encourages you to contact the authorized signatory at your institution to obtain any additional forms they may require of you and to let them know if you are in urgent need of the materials.
Additionally, Addgene has implemented an electronic MTA system designed to streamline the MTA process. If you are the authorized signatory for MTAs at your institution, please see our MTA page or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about electronic MTA approval.
A: The MTA must be signed by someone who is authorized to approve legal documents on behalf of your institution. Generally for institutions within the United States, a member of the Technology Transfer, Sponsored Research Administration, or General Counsel Office is authorized to sign the MTA. For non-US institutions that do not have these departments, a dean or head of department may be authorized to sign the MTA. If you are unsure if you can sign an MTA, you should always check with a member of your administration whether you may sign legal agreements on behalf of your entire organization.
A: The Addgene team can help you update contact information on the implementing letter of the MTA, such as the recipient scientist or Principal Investigator name and address details. Simply contact us at email@example.com with your requested changes and we will send you a revised copy of the MTA for signature.
Any terms listed on the UBMTA itself cannot be edited. Addgene is required to use the unedited UBMTA for all plasmid transfers between the providing institutions and the recipient institutions. Addgene helps to gather the signatures and facilitate the MTA approval process but we cannot make any changes to the UBMTA. If you or your legal department has questions about the terms of the UBMTA, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: Yes, each order requires a new MTA because it is unique and lists specific information pertaining to the recipient, such as name and address of his/her institution. Addgene does not own any of the plasmids we distribute, and we have a responsibility to our depositors to obtain an MTA for each new request. The MTA ensures that the recipient scientist and institution agree to the terms and conditions of the UBMTA when using the plasmids in their order.
A: The Material Transfer Agreement that is part of the order prohibits your colleague from transferring the plasmid to people outside of his/her lab. To receive the plasmid through Addgene, you will need to place an order on our website and have a new MTA signed by your institution. Alternatively, you can contact the institution that originally deposited the plasmid and ask them for permission to receive it from your colleague. Addgene is not authorized by the institutions that deposit with us to grant such permissions.
A: Yes, you will need to get a new MTA under your new institution. To obtain the MTA through Addgene, you would need to place an order for the materials and your new institution would need to sign the necessary MTAs. We can offer a discount of $30 per plasmid for this option. Alternatively, you can contact the each of the institutions that originally deposited the materials and ask them for permission to use the materials at your new institution. Addgene is not authorized by those institutions to grant such permissions.
A: Yes, but Addgene can only generate an MTA for a plasmid if it is ordered from us directly. To obtain an MTA, you will have to place an order online at www.addgene.org, pay the standard price for the order, and have the MTA approved by the authorized signatory at your institution. We will then ship the plasmids to your institution.
A: Addgene is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves the community by operating a plasmid repository. Our mission is to facilitate research and to promote scientific sharing.
A: By joining a vibrant community of over 1,300 depositing labs from around the world, your research will be highlighted and other scientists will begin building upon your work and citing your papers. You will also save time from answering plasmid requests, and enjoy the peace of mind knowing that your samples and data are securely archived. For a full list of benefits, click here.
A: It is easy to deposit plasmids with Addgene. For each plasmid that you would like to deposit, we simply need cloning data and 15uL of DNA (or bacterial streaks, if you prefer).
Cloning data can be entered online or on paper. For more information, see our deposit page. Addgene will provide shipping materials and pay for the shipping of your samples to Addgene’s facility.
If you have specific questions about depositing plasmids with Addgene, you can always contact us at 617-225-9000 or email@example.com.
A: No, depositing of plasmids is free up to 200 plasmids. If you would like to deposit more than 200 plasmids, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: Yes, Addgene charges academic/non-profit institutions $65 per plasmid to cover the costs of maintaining the repository. This includes quality control sequencing, storage (at Addgene and a backup facility), customer service, MTA management, and more. Addgene is a non-profit organization and all funds go towards the mission of scientific sharing.
A:Labs often have thousands of plasmids, but we recommend that you start with up to 20 of your most frequently requested plasmids. This will have the greatest impact in terms of saving your lab time on answering plasmid requests and are likely the plasmids that your colleagues around the world will find most useful. Of course, if you have more than 20 plasmids that you get requests for you are welcome to deposit more.
A: Addgene reserves the right to not accept a plasmid or collection. For example, we do not accept plasmids that require a BL3 or BL4 facility.
Yes, as long as you have modified the plasmid you received (i.e. cloned a cDNA into it, made coding mutations or otherwise modified its function such as changing the bacterial resistance, cloning method, mammalian selection or by adding a fusion tag).
If a researcher wanted to request this plasmid, he/she would write to you and not to whomever you received the original plasmid from. Therefore, your lab should submit this plasmid to the repository.
Please do not submit plasmids that have not been altered by your laboratory.
A: Be sure you have completed the online deposit process. After entering the plasmid data, you need to checkout and enter your shipping information. When you have completed the deposit process, you will receive a 5-digit deposit number and a confirmation email for your deposit. Addgene will send a “Deposit Kit” to you for shipping your plasmids. We will contact you once we have received your plasmids and they are available online.
Before your plasmids will be available for request, Addgene will also contact the Technology Transfer Office at your institution to acquire approval. Please feel free to email email@example.com to check on the status of your deposit.
A: The “Deposit Kit” contains a plastic shipper for protecting your test tubes, a pre-paid UPS waybill, plasmid forms (if you did not enter your cloning data online), and a pouch along with shipping instructions for mailing the plasmids to Addgene. International depositors will also receive a deposit kit by way of UPS, but the pre-paid return shipping material will be through FedEx and additional customs forms will be included.
Plasmids can be submitted in either form. For DNA, aliquot 15 uL of DNA into a 1.5 mL microfuge tube (at a concentration of 0.2 -1ug/uL) and use Addgene's prepaid shipping materials. For bacterial cultures, streak the glycerol stock onto a plate. If you send bacteria, you will be responsible for packaging and shipping the sample according to safety guidelines.
A: For most plasmids, Addgene will perform single pass sequencing to validate the identity of the insert, any mutations indicated during the deposit process (ex: dominant negative, constitutively active, etc), and the frame of tags or fusion proteins. These sequencing results will sometimes, but not always, cover the full insert.
Addgene will contact you if there are any discrepancies between your cloning data and your sequencing results prior to making your plasmid available online. When the analysis is complete, the sequencing results are posted online for the community.
A: We do not expect you to have complete information for older plasmids. Fill out as much as you can, and for unknown information enter “N/A”.
A:If the plasmid produces anything known to be hazardous to humans or animals when expressed in bacteria, or if a lab requires a BL3 or BL4 permit to handle this plasmid, Addgene cannot accept it.
A: You can submit your plasmids as unpublished. Once you obtain a PubMed ID for the plasmids you have submitted, simply forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will associate the manuscript with the deposited plasmids.
A: Yes, Addgene can store and distribute these plasmids. If they were made in conjunction with a published article, but did not appear in the final publication, simply associate those plasmids with the article for which they were created. If they are independent of any article, enter a description for the plasmids on the "Add Pre-Publication or Unpublished Plasmids" section at the start of the deposit process and then add the plasmids to this as you would an article.
A: To delete an article, you must first remove all of the plasmids. Go to the Deposit Plasmids tab, click on My Articles, and click on the yellow Submit Plasmids button. Delete plasmids using the link to the far right of the plasmid name, then scroll to the bottom of the page for the link to delete the article.
If you accidentally added a plasmid to the wrong article, you can leave it there and then email email@example.com after completing the deposit and we can move the plasmid to the correct reference rather than you having to enter all of the plasmid information again.
A: Addgene will create a custom webpage that lists all of the plasmids from your laboratory that are available for request. The URL will be in the format: www.addgene.org/PIfirstname_PIlastname . For example, see www.addgene.org/Robert_Weinberg/. You can either post your unique URL on your laboratory’s website or email it to requesting scientists. (Note: Your plasmids will not be listed on your webpage until they have passed quality control and the MTAs have been approved.) Alternatively, if you know the specific plasmid that is being requested, you can refer the plasmid to another scientist by sending the URL using the format: www.addgene.org/Plasmid#. For example, see www.addgene.org/1764/.
A: Yes, if you lost plasmid samples that you deposited at Addgene, you can recover these plasmids from Addgene. You would be responsible for a charge of $5 per plasmid, plus shipping. Please email Addgene at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the special pricing.
A: You can track requests from the Addgene account that was used to submit the deposit and from the PI account that every PI automatically receives upon completion of the first deposit. To view requests, go to "Home" and then click on "Requests for My Plasmids" in the "My Account" box. You will also receive a monthly summary of requests for your plasmids via email.
A: Once you have completed the deposit submission and requested your kit, you can no longer modify your plasmid information yourself. Please email email@example.com with any additions or modifications you wish to make.
A: To access your lab’s rewards points, you must be linked to your PI in the Addgene system and have their passcode. If the option to enter rewards points does not appear during checkout, contact firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can link you to your PI. If you do not know your passcode, you need to obtain it from your PI (see below).
A: The Principal Investigator (PI) is the only member of the lab who can access the passcode, although the the PI may give the passcode to anyone in the lab to use for requesting free plasmids. This step helps prevent non-lab-members from using your lab passcode. Please do not share your passcode with anyone outside of your lab.
In order to access the passcode, you must retrieve the information from your lab PI account. If you do not know the username for your PI account, please email email@example.com to request it. If you forget your password, click here to have a new one emailed to you. Within your PI account, click on the bottom link in the orange box on the left that says "Addgene Rewards Points” and you will be able to access the passcode.
A: We regret that we cannot extend the Addgene Rewards Points program to our industry customers at this time.
A: Addgene secures permission from contributing laboratories and their host institutions’ Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) to receive, store and propagate plasmids. Addgene serves solely as a distributor of plasmids, and is neither the end-user nor the proprietor.
Individuals obtaining materials through Addgene are presented with Material Transfer Agreements applicable to their institution and the donor institution. These will appear as click-through screens prior to completion of the order on the Addgene website, and are legally binding agreements.
After receiving a plasmid request, Addgene will email the TTO of the institution a Material Transfer Agreement, which has to be signed by their authorized signatory. Addgene will fulfill the plasmid requests once it has received the appropriate approval.
A: Addgene will only ship plasmids to academic and non-profit institutions, unless we receive explicit approval from your institution’s TTO. Addgene uses the Uniform Biological Materials Transfer Agreement (UBMTA). The UBMTA permits recipients of the plasmids to use the plasmids for non-commercial academic research purposes only. They are also prohibited from sharing the original and unmodified plasmids outside of their laboratories, and must acknowledge the providing scientist in publications.
All non-profit and research institutions that are signatories of the UBMTA will be able to receive plasmids under this arrangement. Additionally, institutions that are not signatories of the UBMTA, but are willing to accept the UBMTA terms, can also receive plasmids under this arrangement. If a special MTA is associated with your plasmid or with you (as the investigator), please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Addgene will work to set this up.
A: Addgene uses the UBMTA, which is widely accepted by the NIH and most universities. Please check with your TTO if the plasmids you are depositing are patent protected or licensed to a third-party that may prevent their distribution.
If the plasmid you are depositing requires a special MTA form, please email it to email@example.com. We can typically add these extra terms, and requestors will have to agree to them and the UBMTA before obtaining the plasmids.
A: The Plasmid Deposit and Distribution Agreement is an agreement with three separate sections:
A: By signing this agreement, your institution agrees to let Addgene store, cultivate, replicate, amplify and distribute your plasmid(s) to other academic and non-profit institutions for acaedmic research purposes. Currently, Addgene does not provide electronic signature for the one-time plasmid deposit agreement, but Addgene is able (and prefers) to work with PDFs rather than paper copies of the agreement.
A: In the US, Addgene requires the Deposit and Distribution Agreement to be signed by your TTO representative before we can accept your plasmid deposit. Since approval is different for countries outside of the U.S., if you are depositing from an international institution, please check to see who is authorized to sign the agreement. For specific terms, please see a sample of this Agreement.
A: If we have the appropriate TTO contact, Addgene will typically send the proposed Deposit and Distribution Agreement to your TTO within 48 hours after receiving your plasmid information. The length of approval time varies and is dependant on how fast your institution is in reviewing and approving the agreement. To expedite the approval process, we encourage that you notify your TTO for any third-party obligations or licensing issues that may delay the plasmid deposits.
A: Addgene does not transfer commercially available vectors or unmodified vectors obtained from other labs. If the plasmids contain vector backbones purchased from commercial entities, Addgene may include additional terms in an ancillary agreement or limited use label license. Please check the company websites for additional information and terms.
In general, please note that with regard to plasmids constructed using commercial vector backbones, you cannot: a) use the plasmids for any commercial purpose, or b) re-create vector backbones that you can otherwise purchase from the company.