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This page describes the representational state transfer application programming interface (REST API) implementations that can be used to access TCIA data and resources. The APIs complement the existing web interfaces and enable developers to build direct access to TCIA data into their applications using only the API documentation provided. The application developer must ensure that they and the users of their applications comply with the TCIA Data Usage Policy.

TCIA currently offers two RESTful interfaces:

  • TCIA REST APIs: Originally developed using Project Bindaas with Emory University, these APIs provide access to public collections and do not require authentication or API keys to use them. The TCIA REST API Guide describes these APIs.  
  • National Biomedical Imaging Archive (NBIA) Search REST APIs: Provided as part of the NBIA software, these APIs provide access to the search and download functions used in the TCIA radiology portal, and allow access to both public and limited access collections. In order to use these APIs, a developer must request a Client ID and Client Secret from the TCIA Help Desk, then use that Client ID and Client Secret to obtain an OAuth2 token. That token must be passed to the server in the https headers of API calls, as described in the NBIA Search REST API Guide.

Note that new versions of the APIs may introduce new data types that have not yet been documented. If you are interested in using the APIs and have any questions, please contact the TCIA Help Desk.

TCIA Data Usage Policy

Any user accessing TCIA data must agree to:

  • Not use the requested datasets, either alone or in concert with any other information, to identify or contact individual participants from whom data and/or samples were collected and follow all other conditions specified in our Site Disclaimer. Approved Users also agree not to generate and use information (e.g., facial images or comparable representations) in a manner that could allow the identities of research participants to be readily ascertained. These provisions do not apply to research investigators operating with specific IRB approval, pursuant to 45 CFR 46, to contact individuals within datasets or to obtain and use identifying information under an IRB-approved research protocol. All investigators including any Approved User conducting “human subjects research” within the scope of 45 CFR 46 must comply with the requirements contained therein.
  • Acknowledge in all oral or written presentations, disclosures, or publications the specific dataset(s) or applicable accession number(s) and the NIH-designated data repositories through which the investigator accessed any data. Citation guidelines for doing this are outlined below.
  • If you are considering mirroring a copy of our publicly available datasets or providing direct access to any of our data via another tool or website using our REST API please review our Data Analysis Centers (DACs) page for more information. DACs must provide attribution and links back to this TCIA data use policy and must require downstream users to do the same.

The summary page for every TCIA dataset includes a Citations & Data Usage Policy tab (see screenshot below).  Please consult the Citation & Data Usage Policy for each Collection before using them.  

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