XNAT Central: Open sourcing imaging research data

Neuroimage. 2016 Jan 1;124(Pt B):1093-1096. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.06.076. Epub 2015 Jul 2.


XNAT Central is a publicly accessible medical imaging data repository based on the XNAT open-source imaging informatics platform. It hosts a wide variety of research imaging data sets. The primary motivation for creating XNAT Central was to provide a central repository to host and provide access to a wide variety of neuroimaging data. In this capacity, XNAT Central hosts a number of data sets from research labs and investigative efforts from around the world, including the OASIS Brains imaging studies, the NUSDAST study of schizophrenia, and more. Over time, XNAT Central has expanded to include imaging data from many different fields of research, including oncology, orthopedics, cardiology, and animal studies, but continues to emphasize neuroimaging data. Through the use of XNAT's DICOM metadata extraction capabilities, XNAT Central provides a searchable repository of imaging data that can be referenced by groups, labs, or individuals working in many different areas of research. The future development of XNAT Central will be geared towards greater ease of use as a reference library of heterogeneous neuroimaging data and associated synthetic data. It will also become a tool for making data available supporting published research and academic articles.

Keywords: Data sharing; Neuroinformatics databases; Open access; Open source; XNAT; XNAT Central.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Access to Information
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / pathology
  • Databases, Factual
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination*
  • Information Systems
  • Medical Informatics
  • Neuroimaging*
  • Schizophrenia / pathology