Who sponsors this forum?
The Scientific Community Image Forum is proudly sponsored by the Center for Open Bioimage Analysis (COBA). COBA was established in 2020 with a P41 grant from the NIH National Institute of General Medical Sciences. As a National Biomedical Technology Research Resource, its purpose is to develop and disseminate novel technologies throughout the biomedical research community.
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.
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
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 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 is the process to become a Community Partner?
Meet the current guidelines for becoming a Community Partner:
- The organization links to the forum in its documentation regarding how users should seek support and/or discussion.
- The organization does not promote additional, separate, project-specific discussion channels more prominently than this forum.
- The organization will elect an individual as an active representative on the Community Forum Team.
Make a public post in the Websites category to request to join the forum as a Community Partner:
What is the role of the Community Forum Team?
The Community Forum Team is made up of active members of the forum, including appointed representatives from Community Partners. Members are involved in general monitoring and responding on the forum, addressing and handling of flagging of inappropriate or unnecessary forum posts (defined by our Guidelines page), and collectively determining general forum protocols and procedures. The Community Forum Team category is for internal discussion of forum issues. Topics are only visible to members of the Community Forum Team (
@team ) group.
What are the roles of administrators and moderators?
Administrators and Moderators are drawn from the Community Forum Team members, across a variety of software projects, who are most active in responding to user queries. In addition to the work of the Community Forum Team, these users respond to flagged posts, remove user accounts when requested, and deal with overall site maintenance. For more information on what each role is able to do, see this thread.
What about homework questions?
Questions requesting homework help are fine to include here on the forum. However, they must include a summary of the work already attempted to solve the problem along with a description of the specific issues in solving part or all of the question. For those answering such questions, just keep in mind to answer them in the best interest of the student, providing an answer that helps him/her learn from the exchange. For more specific guidance on asking and answering such questions, please read this post from Stack Overflow; our forum follows the same policy presented there.
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?
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
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.