Join the community of TCIA data publishers!

The following information describes the process for submitting new imaging datasets to The Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA).  If you have utilized existing TCIA data and wish to publish your analyses you can find instructions for doing that here.

Requesting permission to publish a new dataset

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:

  • How important is this data set to facilitating research reproducibility in this topic area?
  • Does this dataset address a data gap for critical current research for a clinical need?
  • Is this a novel/unique dataset compared to what’s already in TCIA?
  • Is the dataset of a sufficient size/scale to support scientific conclusions or hypothesis development?
  • Does the dataset contain sufficient supporting data and documentation?
  • If the dataset consists of an analysis of image based data, is it based on a biological hypothesis or other proposed discovery about the patho-physiological basis of cancer?

There is no 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.  Preference is given to data sets which can be fully public and do not require any application process or data use agreements. 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.

Request to Publish New Dataset with TCIA

If you are unable to submit an application using the link above, you can use this PDF form to submit your application. The PDF includes directions for submitting the completed document.

Submission process overview

Once we have determined your data set is an appropriate fit for the archive we will initiate the submission process. TCIA staff perform extensive de-identification and quality control checks, and are working with a steady stream of incoming data submissions from sites all over the world.  As a result, it usually takes a few months to complete the submission process for new datasets.  Submission time can also vary greatly depending on how large your dataset is, how well your data are organized and what your availability is to work with us on your submission.  In some circumstances we can adjust priorities to accommodate more aggressive deadlines, but this is not always possible.

A TCIA submission team will be assigned to provide all the required tools and guidance for sending your data. Our TCIA de-identification and curation process documentation provides extensive details about the process, but the major steps include:

  1. We will help you perform an initial de-identification of your data before it leaves your site.
  2. We will review your submitted data to ensure the data are fully de-identified and the content of the data aligns with your submission proposal.
  3. We will work with you to create a dataset summary page to inform users how your data might be of use to them.  Please review our guidance on auxiliary information we like to provide to the user community where available.
  4. We will publish the final data set, provide you with a citation and digital object identifier (DOI) for your dataset, and announce its availability on our mailing list and social media channels.

Track your data’s usage

After your dataset is available on TCIA you can view our Data Usage Statistics page to find out how often users search or download your data.  You can also use your dataset’s Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to track citations.

Getting credit for data sharing

New journals dedicated to describing data sets are beginning to gain in popularity. These can be used to publish detailed descriptions of your TCIA data to gain academic credit (publication/citations) for your efforts in addition to the novel scientific findings you might publish in traditional journals. Below is a list of data journals which recognize TCIA as a Recommended Repository.

JournalRecommended Repositories
Nature Scientific Data
Medical Physics
Elsevier Data in Brief