There are several ways to get help within SDSS. Please have a look below whether the information you are looking for is already available, or check out our Frequently Asked Questions page to see if your question has been asked (and answered!) before. If you encounter any terminology that you are not familiar with, it may be explained at our Glossary Page.

About the Data

If you have questions about the nature of the SDSS-V data (how do I work with this data file?) consult the Black Hole Mapper or Milky Way Mapper data documentation.

If you are looking for information on any of our previously completed surveys from SDSS-I-IV (i.e., imaging, legacy data, supernova survey, SEGUE, (e)BOSS, APOGEE-1/2, Marvels, MaNGA or MaStar), then see our completed surveys page.

Accessing Data

If you want a list of options for accessing the data, consult the data access documentation.

Data Analysis

If you have a question about a technique used in the data analysis, see if it is addressed in the Pipeline documentation, or check the Black Hole Mapper or Milky Way Mapper data pages.

About the SAS

If you are looking at a file from the Science Archive Server (SAS) and want to know more about its contents, consult the survey data model.

SkyServer / CASJobs

For help on the SkyServer or CASJobs, or to know more about SQL, consult SkyServer DR18 Support.


We have Tutorials available to provide guidance and hands-on practice in accessing SDSS data for a variety of scientific and teaching tasks.

How to cite SDSS

Find out more about how to cite SDSS-V and earlier phases of SDSS, as well as a LaTeX template at How to Cite SDSS.

SDSS Helpdesk

If you cannot find the answer to your question, then please contact us at the SDSS helpdesk, and your question will be directed to a survey expert in the appropriate area.

Please note that your SDSS helpdesk e-mail may be shared with SDSS collaboration members and contributors who we think can help answering with your question. We will retain your email and our responses for archival purposes. These questions posed may be used to guide the development of our online documentation, but no identifying or proprietary information from your email will be published in that documentation or elsewhere. We will delete your email if you request us to do so. None of the information from your email will be sold.

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