How to share a Roam database


Roam provides three options for sharing your database:

1. Add individuals to a database
You can give one or more individuals access to your Roam database and allow them to edit the database or only read it.

2. Make a database public
You can make a Roam database publicly readable or editable. This also allows visitors to export any or all of the pages either in Markdown or JSON format.

3. Share individual pages
You can also make individual Roam pages publicly readable or editable. However this does come with risks. As a tweet from Roam acknowledged on Aug 7, this option isn’t totally secure although only a skilled engineer would have the knowledge to access data from other pages.

Link to tweet

Uses for shared databases

There are many uses for shared databases. To name a few:

Work on projects with colleagues
Probably the most common use of a shared database is working on projects with colleagues.

Resource/help databases
There are an increasing number of read-only resource/help databases. Ramses has created a Roam Tricks database with CatoMinor which includes shortcodes, keyboard shortcuts and external tools.

Another example is grad student Mridula Duggall, who has just created a database to share the templates she is using in her research work.

There are exciting opportunities for collaboration with shared Roam databases.

An interesting example is the recent setting up of the Roam Book Club. Each week, the group read a new chapter of the selected book and participants add their notes and comments to the Book Club’s database. At the weekly Sunday meeting, these notes and comments are used as a springboard for discussions.

Public texts
More and more significant public texts are being converted into a Roam format and shared publicly.

They include religious texts like the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita; drama including the works of Shakespeare; historic documents like the US Declaration of Independence; and poetry from Milton, Blake and TS Eliot.

The Library of Roam is particularly active in creating new texts., set up by Francis, provides a comprehensive directory of these public texts.


Short walkthroughs

You can find step-by-step instructions below showing you how to share your database in the different ways available.

How to add individuals to a database

Step 1: Click on the three dots in the top right-hand corner of your Roam screen.


Step 2: Click on ‘Share’.


Step 3:
a) Ensure that the ‘Private’ option is chosen.
b) Add an email address in either the ‘Editors’ or ‘Readers’ fields.
c) Press ‘Enter’.


Step 4: Ensure that the email address has been added underneath the relevant field and that it is correct.


Step 5: Add in as many more Editors and Readers as you want.


How to make a Roam database public

Step 1: Click on the three dots in the top right-hand corner.


Step 2: Click on Share.


Step 3:
a) Click on the dropdown arrow by ‘Private’,
b) Choose either ‘Public Readonly’ or ‘Public Editable’.

If you are making the database ‘Public Readonly’, you can also add more Editors by following the instructions above.


How to share individual pages

The instructions to share individual pages are below but please be aware of the security issues mentioned above.

Step 1: Go to the page in Roam you want to share.


Step 2: Click on Share.


Step 3: Click on the ‘Page Permissions’ text to activate the Page Permissions feature. Then click outside the Database Permissions window to go back to the Roam page.


Step 4: Then go back to click on the three dots in the top right-hand corner of Roam again.


Step 5: A ‘Share page’ option will have appeared. Click on that.


Step 6: Click on the dropdown arrow by ‘Private’ and choose either ‘Public Readonly’ or ‘Public Editable’.

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