New generation sequencing platforms are producing data with significantly higher throughput and lower cost. A portion of this capacity is devoted to individual and community scientific projects. As these projects reach publication, raw sequencing datasets are submitted into the primary next-generation sequence data archive, the Sequence Read Archive (SRA). Archiving experimental data is the key to the progress of reproducible science. The SRA was established as a public repository for next-generation sequence data as a part of the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration (INSDC). INSDC is composed of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) and the DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ). The SRA is accessible at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sra from NCBI, at www.ebi.ac.uk/ena from EBI and at trace.ddbj.nig.ac.jp from DDBJ. In this article, we present the content and structure of the SRA and report on updated metadata structures, submission file formats and supported sequencing platforms. We also briefly outline our various responses to the challenge of explosive data growth.