Impact Factor


Front. Neuroinform., 05 April 2012 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fninf.2012.00009

Data sharing in neuroimaging research

  • 1Neurospin, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 2Brain Imaging Centre, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA
  • 3International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 4McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 5School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  • 6Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA
  • 7Department of Experimental Psychology, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany
  • 8Division of Informatics, Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA
  • 9Massachusetts General Hospital and Department of Radiology, Athinoula A Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
  • 10Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, and Department of Computer Science, University of California at Irvine, CA, USA
  • 11Department of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA
  • 12Imaging Research Center and Departments of Psychology and Neurobiology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA
  • 13Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, London, UK

Significant resources around the world have been invested in neuroimaging studies of brain function and disease. Easier access to this large body of work should have profound impact on research in cognitive neuroscience and psychiatry, leading to advances in the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric and neurological disease. A trend toward increased sharing of neuroimaging data has emerged in recent years. Nevertheless, a number of barriers continue to impede momentum. Many researchers and institutions remain uncertain about how to share data or lack the tools and expertise to participate in data sharing. The use of electronic data capture (EDC) methods for neuroimaging greatly simplifies the task of data collection and has the potential to help standardize many aspects of data sharing. We review here the motivations for sharing neuroimaging data, the current data sharing landscape, and the sociological or technical barriers that still need to be addressed. The INCF Task Force on Neuroimaging Datasharing, in conjunction with several collaborative groups around the world, has started work on several tools to ease and eventually automate the practice of data sharing. It is hoped that such tools will allow researchers to easily share raw, processed, and derived neuroimaging data, with appropriate metadata and provenance records, and will improve the reproducibility of neuroimaging studies. By providing seamless integration of data sharing and analysis tools within a commodity research environment, the Task Force seeks to identify and minimize barriers to data sharing in the field of neuroimaging.

Keywords: brain imaging, data sharing, standards, magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI, EEG-MEG

Citation: Poline J-B, Breeze JL, Ghosh S, Gorgolewski KF, Halchenko YO, Hanke M, Haselgrove C, Helmer KG, Keator DB, Marcus DS, Poldrack RA, Schwartz Y, Ashburner J and Kennedy DN (2012) Data sharing in neuroimaging research. Front. Neuroinform. 6:9.doi: 10.3389/fninf.2012.00009

Received: 13 October 2011; Accepted: 09 March 2012;
Published online: 05 April 2012.

Edited by:

Jessica A. Turner, Mind Research Network, Albuquerque, USA

Reviewed by:

Lars Schwabe, University of Rostock, Germany
John Van Horn, University of California at Los Angeles, USA

Copyright: © 2012 Poline, Breeze, Ghosh, Gorgolewski, Halchenko, Hanke, Haselgrove, Helmer, Keator, Marcus, Poldrack, Schwartz, Ashburner and Kennedy. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.

*Correspondence: Jean-Baptiste Poline, Neurospin, Bat. 145, CEA, Gif-sur-Yvette, 91191, France.
Henry Wheeler Brain Imaging Center, 10 Giannini Hall, UC Berkeley, CA, USA. e-mail: jbpoline@gmail.com