Disclaimer #1: Much of the regional/jurisdictional information has yet to be entered in this system. However, the framework exists. There is a permission group named "authority" which is for domain experts so they can enter such data for their region. We are always looking for users interested in such a role.

Disclaimer #2: Additionally, we expect continuous change in the software to suit freshly discovered user requirements. Technology and techniques used in development were selected for this expectation over the long term. 

This walkthrough page is quite lengthy but should bring you to the point of easily understanding design motivations leading to the viability of sharing data, information and therefore, safety in the modern world. It concludes with a business plan walkthrough.


  • SharedSDS is driven by its user community rather than by profit
  • It is free and open source. Subject to the SharedSDS gatekeeper team, it can be enhanced by users directly.
  • The user community prioritises development by voting on-line for or against proposed enhancements

 Information privacy

  • Privacy of information is paramount and permission groups are therefore important - see Target audience
  • Any member of your company can see/edit all your company data subject only to their membership of permission groups.
  • You cannot see other company information and they cannot see yours. That extends to consultants. If you are a contracting consultant you cannot have a login which sees more than one company. You will need a different login per client company in order to see that company's data. This is done to make the whole system simpler and easier to secure.
  • With your specific agreement and initiated by you, SharedSDS licensing can deliver different degrees of visibility for some or all of your data

Free or fee

License fees for sharing someone else's SDS or substance data are likely to be small. The fee has not been decided but user consensus seems to be around $12 or £6 per substance per year for all types of sharing. Making the fees so small means it is a no-brainer to legally share someone else's effort rather than steal it.

All fees will be split equally between SharedSDS and the owner of the SDS or substance.

The fee being split means SharedSDS naturally prefers to see fee based relationships. The business plan relies on such revenue flow to support ongoing development. However, companies are at liberty to establish non-fee based relationships.

SDS consumers in workplaces will never pay for SDSs. They may elect - as they do today - to engage someone to manage their OH&S information and it is planned that SharedSDS will write software to facilitate such OH&S information management by third parties. It is unlikely that SharedSDS will play in that space itself.


Agreement - the basis of SharedSDS

The sharing system is driven by licensing which constrains the parties in licensed relationships specifically offered and accepted by the parties themselves. Individual substance data flagged as sharable is covered by the Base Licence and does not require specific licensed relationships.

The Base Licence is executed between SharedSDS and every Company joining the system.

Base Licence (summary)

The Base Licence (in full) applies to all companies using SharedSDS wherever they are in the supply and/or distribution chain. Any company may simultaneously originate its own pure products or substances; resell another company's supplied product; formulate mixtures using data shared by others; or use chemical products in its own workplaces and therefore be an end-user of SDSs for OH&S purposes. This Base Licence covers all these aspects plus:

  • All SDS and data sharing fees are split equally between SharedSDS and the author
  • Company licenses SDS content to third party (distributor) at a fee or at no charge
  • Company licenses shared data to third party (formulator) at a fee or at no charge
  • Company shares individual substance data visibly or invisibly but always for a fee
  • Non-withdrawal of individually shared substance data once included in mixtures of others
  • Company as Licensee for third party SDS content or substance data from others
  • SDS target audience is the competent workplace manager
  • Company asserts it is qualified and competent
  • Company accepts responsibility for accuracy of its own data
  • Company will consider peer review of its data and SDSs
  • Company notifies SharedSDS of any discovered discrepancies in any data or any software
  • Jurisdictional differences should be visible
  • SharedSDS services provided to third parties especially in the OH&S area
  • OH&S management fees excluded from this agreement
  • Emergency services may gain access to data subject to confidentiality

Other licences

The other licences are executed between individual companies to establish different styles of sharing relationships required. See the first two tables on the User docs Sharing page

Sharing means ...

Sharing SDSs means your distributors can attach a logo (theirs or maybe yours) and their contact detail to your Safety Data Sheet

Sharing data means you can incorporate someone else's data (free or for a fee) into your mixture. Your mixture then gets its GHS classification calculated from the ingredient properties.

The sharing summary is that any company can share their SDSs with any other company. Likewise they can share their data with any other company. All this is governed by the relationship(s) established with each such company. Each relationship (free or for a fee) incorporates a license which protects all parties.

In addition and completely separate is the ability for any company to share individual substance data with anyone for a fee. See the last table on the User docs Sharing page


Data quality

All SharedSDS licences emphasise that data quality is the responsibility of the data owner and simultaneously require all parties to report to each other where data quality can be improved. The licences also mandate that errors be fixed forthwith.

At the moment all licences mandate "consider and keep under consideration until it becomes Company policy to undertake independent peer review" of SDSs and substance data. Where a company is sharing data for incorporation in another company's mixture classification peer review, while not a panacea, certainly becomes important. It is possible in future that independent peer review may become the norm.


Main menu

To pursue this walkthrough further you need login credentials plus membership of users@sharedsds.com mailing list. That list supports users experiencing difficulties or wishing to ask questions. It is the SharedSDS community mailing list.


Company: Only shows your own company. You can change the detail because you are in the admin group. You should do that if you decide to use SharedSDS. Enter data in the separate sections in the sequence shown. This avoids data integrity warnings when certain information is a pre-requisite in subsequent sections.


Company/Addresses: Required for SDS Wrappers


Company/Phones: Required for SDS Wrappers


Company/Divisions: One is required and it defaults to "Operations" which you may adjust.

Note that substances are "owned" by your Divisions not your Company. When you buy or sell a Division the substances come and go with the Division. This keeps management effort to a minimum. You can have artificial divisions if you want to treat groups of substances differently for strategic reasons.


Company/Relationships: Authorise sharing by license ... The "is" relationship will probably be renamed in the near future to something more formal. It is the basis of the relationship between a company and SharedSDS. Other licences establish relationships between the company and other parties.

There are four such relationships, two for SDSs (free or fee) and similarly two for substance data. These four licenses share SDSs or substance data company by company or for a slightly more granular approach division by division.

For substances flagged as "Open data" or "Ingredient data", the licence in play is the "is" licence mentioned above.

There is also an "Emergency service" licence which supports Poisons Centres, medics and other emergency responders gaining access to SDSs and substance data as required. Each such organisation will need to be registered in SharedSDS and each company will be able to see precisely which organisations have registered as such. Reports will be produced so that emergency access is documented.


Company/Wrappers: Related to a company, wrappers carry the logo and contact detail for resellers and importers subject to the two SDS relationship types. A wrapper can be enabled or disabled by a company to prevent or allow a particular set of SDS being found in searches or used in the field.


Contributors: These are people who contribute their expertise to SharedSDS. They are the SharedSDS team. You are most welcome to join the team.


Substance/Papers: These are stand-alone documents entered by anyone. They may be linked to substances and quoted in SDSs complete with URLs. It is envisaged that eventually best practice or research documents will be most usefully linked for on-line readers or future authors/reviewers of SDSs. Obviously, they are not of much use when printed and so they cannot be containers for legally required information not mentioned elsewhere in the SDS.


Substance/Phrases: These are stand-alone items. They can say anything and go anywhere in the SDS rather than the substance.


Substance/SDSs: SDSs cannot be added manually. They are added automatically. There is always a "next editable" SDS. Once an author has made the SDS effective (by giving it an effective date which has ticked over) the previous SDS is automatically withdrawn and linkage to it is made in the newly effective SDS. An effective SDS cannot be withdrawn until there is an effective replacement for it.


Substances or mixtures: See User docs - Quick start


Workplaces: Beyond walkthrough scope for SDS authors at the moment



The walkthrough is officially done now. You should continue on the staging (practise) server with the credentials you obtained and using the Quick start section of the user-docs.

For those who are interested, the story would not be complete without at least a summary of the business plan.

Business plan

SharedSDS is free so what is the business plan? How can an investor make money? What will drive SharedSDS to growth and profit?

One could ask the same questions of Google when it was starting up. But most people didn't ask! They just used a free service. The Google business plan eventually emerged from internet searches which were brilliant. They still are but let's hope they eventually recognise their echo-chamber effect is wrong.

We will build the best GHS classification system on the planet and the best SDS authoring system as well. Why is it free? Because that will give us the most early users we could hope for and the more users we have, the faster it will improve.

How will SharedSDS become the best system of its type on the planet? The best answer is because being free, profit cannot skew development. SharedSDS will evolve according to the requirements of its user-community and nothing else. Because the SharedSDS vision includes regulatory harmonisation for the chemical industry world-wide it will be compliant world-wide. 

It is important to note that while regulatory harmony is important it won't happen quickly.

A recent example is the EU requirement for a new number for Poisons Centres. Called the UFI it is intended to help find the correct substance in a medical emergency. We deplore increasing disharmony and see Brussels as a serial perpetrator and UFI as a recent example. But we have now adjusted SharedSDS to be UFI compliant for all our users when they sell into the EU market.

This is key. SharedSDS is compliant with the GHS first and all regulatory differences are simply exceptions depending on where the SDS is displayed. Provided the user community includes enough exporters, SharedSDS will eventually become the obvious choice for SDS authoring. 


The business plan strategy is to become the obvious choice for everyone. 

To put our integrity on the line we say publically it will remain free forever. So long as our user community keeps making suggestions, SharedSDS will continue to improve. 

How will we fund SharedSDS development?

It is plain that we have the classic chicken and egg. Except that we do have the egg! SharedSDS is currently usable in English. And we have funding options. We could go to USA and find venture capitalists who compete with each other for the next big thing. We could crowd-fund in Australia or USA or UK. There are encrypted token (blockchain) options emerging and we are also exploring a self-funding model. We are currently looking for a partner to drive that side of the plan.

Revenue model

  • Across the industry and around the world, SharedSDS generates SDS licensing revenue. It comes from downstream distribution which needs SDS content produced by suppliers. Distributors are licensed to "wrap" SDS content with their own local contact information and (possibly) logos
  • All licensing revenue is split 50:50 between SharedSDS and licensors. Aggregating many small amounts will deliver a useful revenue flow
  • Across the industry and around the world, SharedSDS also generates revenue from data invisibly shared with licensed formulators. That revenue is also split 50:50 and in aggregate will become a useful flow for SharedSDS. 
After a theoretical tipping point, SharedSDS should itself be able to fund ongoing development. If so, the software, the data and valuable information for SharedSDS users will just keep improving.

Watch this space!