Release Name: Data Upload Scripts 1.0

The Upload scripts work in concert with the SRB, XCEDE, and the standardized data hierarchies to put data onto the SRB and link it to the appropriate database.

Organizing and locating information, both clinical metadata and imaging information, in a distributed data environment can be challenging. Because each site in the collaboratory maintains its own linked data storage, it's very important to develop standards for how and where the images are stored, metadata descriptions of what the images are, and how to find them.

To address these requirements the BIRN has implemented standardized data storage hierarchies on the distributed data grid (SRB). The data storage hierarchy was designed to be amenable to automated processing scripts and robust enough to account for differences in storage requirements across BIRN consortia. Not only the physical organization of files is maintained but XML based descriptors of what the files mean to aid in data analysis.

The process of getting imaging information into the standardized data storage hierarchies, the creation of XML based metadata about the data acquisition, conversion of scanner specific, proprietary, data formats into standard "useable" formats, and the linkage of the data locations within the distributed file system into a site's human imaging database (HID) are the goals of the data upload scripts.

Once the data has been "uploaded" using these scripts any site in the collaboratory can locate the datasets by querying their local site's HID database for particular imaging parameters, protocol specifications, or clinical metadata and download the images for further analyses. Using this decentralized approach, the BIRN has put the sites in control of their data while still maintaining shareability and access to the information.