FAIR image data

As a result of the digital revolution, scientific data must be created with longevity in mind more than ever before. FAIR data increase the value of scientific data by enabling it to be more easily incorporated into a variety of different research projects. The FAIR principles thus facilitate and accelerate knowledge generation and scientific progress, improve research transparency, and foster collaboration within the scientific community.

According to the FAIR principles(1), scientific data is of the highest value if it is:

  • Findable: Data and associated Metadata should be easy to find and discover for both humans and computers by a standard identification mechanism
  • Accessible: (Meta)data are available and obtainable by their identifier using a standardized communication protocol; even if the data itself is restricted, the metadata is visible
  • Interoperable: Data needs to be integratable with other data and into applications or workflows for analysis, processing and storage by the use of shared and broadly applicable language
  • Reusable: To optimize the data for reuse, the data and metadata should be richly described by accurate and relevant attributes.

Biological imaging methods present special challenges in regards to FAIR, as they likely generate large volumes (up to several TB) of often complex and multidimensional data in various (proprietary) file formats that must be properly handled, processed and stored.

Supporting FAIR image data

The FAIRification process often begins by recognizing the value of FAIR data and subsequently making adjustments in data acquisition and processing where appropriate. Euro-BioImaging promotes and facilitates the adoption of FAIR practices relevant to image data which get implemented at our Nodes and the Hub. To this end, we offer resources, training and 1-on-1 guidance to FAIRify your data in all stages of the data lifecycle – from project planning to data deposition and reuse. We also work closely with dedicated image data repositories making important connections between the resources and the users.

Contact: fairdata@eurobioimaging.eu

The Data LifeCycle following the FAIR Image standards

Catalogue of FAIR public image data resources

We have compiled a catalogue of FAIR, public image data resources, repositories, policies and standards that we support. This catalogue is available at Fairsharing.org and includes for example the following BioImage Data repositories:

Open BioImage Data (fairdata@eurobioimaging.eu)

BioImage Archive Logo

The BioImage Archive: an image deposition database for all microscopy data (from organism to molecular scale) associated with a publication. It adopts the recommended metadata for biological images‘ (REMBI) (2)scheme to define metadata, which improves the FAIRness of the data by enhancing interoperability and re-use.

The Image Data Resource: a public repository of well annotated reference image datasets from scientific studies.It includes the cell-IDR and the tissue-IDR that hold high quality image datasets, that can be visualized and readily re-used.

IDR Logo

The Electron Microscopy Public Image ARchive: a public resource for raw images underlying 3D cryo-EM maps / tomograms and 3D datasets obtained from volume EM techniques and soft and hard X-ray tomography.

Pre-clinical BioImage Data (preclinicaldata@eurobioimaging.eu)

The Preclinical Image DAtaset Repository (PIDAR) is a public repository of metadata information describing preclinical image datasets from any imaging modality associated to peer-review publications.

The Pre-clinical BioImage Data public repository logo

Further reading:

  • (1) Wilkinson, M., Dumontier, M., Aalbersberg, I. et al. The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. Sci Data 3, 160018 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2016.18
  • (2) Sarkans, U., Chiu, W., Collinson, L. et al. REMBI: Recommended Metadata for Biological Images—enabling reuse of microscopy data in biology. Nat Methods 18, 1418–1422 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41592-021-01166-8;

GO FAIR Initiative for implementing the FAIR data principles: https://www.go-fair.org/fair-principles/

The FAIR cookbook; an online and open resource for the Life Sciences with recipes to make your data FAIR: https://faircookbook.elixir-europe.org/content/home.html