OME-NGFF: a next-generation file format for expanding bioimaging data-access strategies

Nat Methods. 2021 Dec;18(12):1496-1498. doi: 10.1038/s41592-021-01326-w. Epub 2021 Nov 29.


The rapid pace of innovation in biological imaging and the diversity of its applications have prevented the establishment of a community-agreed standardized data format. We propose that complementing established open formats such as OME-TIFF and HDF5 with a next-generation file format such as Zarr will satisfy the majority of use cases in bioimaging. Critically, a common metadata format used in all these vessels can deliver truly findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable bioimaging data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking
  • Computational Biology / instrumentation*
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Computational Biology / standards*
  • Data Compression
  • Databases, Factual
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Internet
  • Metadata*
  • Microscopy / instrumentation*
  • Microscopy / methods
  • Microscopy / standards*
  • Programming Languages
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Software*