Standards in Data Image Management: are we seeing growing consensus?

Best practices in acquisition, post processing, and creation of metadata for data images in biomed are being developed by a variety of sources, including professional societies, research institutions, and individual labs.  As yet, however, there is no one recognized source for widely accepted practices.  Meaningful standards arise in the field when various guidelines, developed independently, begin to move toward a consensus.  The standards are a formal acceptance and recognition of this consensus.

Training based on evolving guidelines can be found at national conferences such as Microscopy and Microanalysis and the Council of Science Editors.  Also some commercial ventures offer training, such as Jerry Sedgewick’s annual Image and Analysis Workshops in Minnesota.

As yet, many institutions, societies, and publishers do not explicitly address data-images within their guidelines but instead provide generic data-management guidelines and assume that any special needs that data-images have will be covered in the generic language. The increased level of training, discussion at national conferences and existence and popularity of OMERO – itself developed from a consensus that data-images require special management suggests that there is a place for standards for data-image management.

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