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Obtaining permission to share your data

The value of TCIA increases as we receive new data sharing proposals from the research community. Researchers with the following objectives are encouraged to submit an application to publish their data:

  • Meeting the data sharing requirements set forth by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for grant or contract awards
  • Meeting the data sharing requirements set forth by a peer reviewed journal for publication
  • Sharing data that could stimulate discoveries in emerging areas of cancer imaging research (e.g. radiogenomics, immunotherapy)
  • Sharing data to be used in challenge competitions or for benchmarking and validating analysis techniques in image processing

We do not charge a fee for sharing your data through TCIA except in rare circumstances where proposals are extremely large.  TCIA is funded by the National Cancer Institute, therefore all applications must have relevance to cancer research. Applications are reviewed monthly by the TCIA Advisory Group to assess their utility to the TCIA user community.  A strong preference is given to data sets which can be fully public and do not impose any special access or usage restrictions. Proposals which contain supporting non-image data (e.g. patient outcomes, training classifiers/labels, tumor segmentations) are highly preferred to those which lack these characteristics.

If approved, submitting sites must sign our TCIA UAMS Data Transfer Agreement before data collection is initiated.  For cases where submitters are not legally permitted to allow commercial use of their data please see TCIA Non-Commercial Data Submission Agreement.  NCI and TCIA strongly discourages prohibiting commercial use as this significantly hinders those who wish to use TCIA data to translate research into clinical patient care.  See our Data Usage Policies and Restrictions page for more information about the rules for downstream use of these data.

Data Curation Overview

All data is fully de-identified in accordance with international standards, US laws and UAMS IRB protocol requirements.  All data is anonymized to the fullest extent possible at the submitting site, and then encrypted prior to transmission to UAMS. All incoming data is captured in a quarantine system and treated as if it contains PHI. All TCIA personnel are trained in HIPAA regulations and procedures. TCIA servers are managed by UAMS IT as if they were UAMS clinical systems. Once the full analysis and de-identification is complete, data is moved to a separate public repository and made available to the research community.  This process has been reviewed by the UAMS Chief Security Officer.