Frequently Asked Questions



What is the forum’s mission?

The goal is to embrace the diversity of the scientific imaging community, while fostering independent learning:

  • Enable people to ask “how do I do X?” without prior knowledge of these various software programs.

  • Improve the cross-visibility of software packages.

  • Make searching for previous discussions simpler.

  • Give users access to a wide breadth of experts on various softwares.

  • Give experts a place to have detailed discussions about elements of the software.

  • Educate software developers on the capabilities of the various projects being discussed, so that they can improve the links between tools, and develop features that are more likely to be novel.

  • Encourage open science and reproducible research by advocating for open tools and their interoperability.

  • Foster not only scientific independent thinking, but just as importantly, independent learning. We want to not only teach people how to fish, but teach them how to learn.

How is the content organized?

Topics are organized non-hierarchically using tags. E.g., if you ask a question about calling ImageJ from CellProfiler, you can add the imagej and cellprofiler tags. This will help people to narrow the scope of their attention as needed based on their time and interest. The front page includes a top-level link to the tag feed of each partnered software project.

Which icons appear in the top navigation bar?

A community partner is an open-source software project or other community organization that uses this forum as a primary recommended discussion channel. This means that: A) the organization links to the forum in its documentation regarding how users should seek support and/or discussion; and B) it does not promote additional, separate, project-specific discussion channels more prominently than this forum. The rationale is to facilitate unification and visibility of discussion across the communities; see “What is the forum’s mission?” above.

Each community partner appears in the top navigation with logo and link to its associated tag feed. Discussion of any and all scientific image software tools is warmly welcomed, but only those using the forum as a primary recommended discussion channel will be included in the navigation bar.

What about hardware questions?

The forum’s primary focus is on software, but sometimes discussion needs to touch on both, and the line between them is not always well defined. Any question relating somehow to scientific imaging is welcome and appropriate.

What about commercial and/or closed-source software?

Discussion of how to solve scientific problems with commercial software is very welcome, as long as it encourages independent learning, rather than being advertorial.

Including closed-source and/or commercial software is a necessary part of embracing the community’s diversity. In practice, many kinds of software are used for scientific image analysis, acquisition, etc. If members of the community want to discuss, e.g., how to improve a MATLAB-based workflow that leverages the image processing toolbox, then they are welcome to do so. This discussion may have benefits not only for MATLAB users, but for anyone with a similar workflow, and relating to any other topics touched on during the discussion. Those wishing to advocate for open science are welcome to chime in regarding how to meet the analysis requirements with OSS-based tools. Those who wish to ignore such discussions can mute topics with unwanted tags; configure it at<your-username>/preferences/tags.

How do I give feedback?

This site is operated by the Community Staff team and driven by you, the community. If you have any further questions about how things should work here, start a new topic in the Websites category and mention the @team group. For concerns that cannot be discussed publicly, contact us as described on the About page.

What are the terms of service?

See the Terms of Service page.

Formal policy for project to be a software partner
Formal policy for project to be a software partner