Advanced Research Computing


UCL XNAT Service

The XNAT service helps UCL researchers store and share medical image data in compliance with GDPR and Information Governance requirements.

XNAT logo
XNAT is an open source imaging informatics platform developed by the Neuroinformatics Research Group at Washington University. It facilitates management, archiving, sharing and analysing medical imaging data and associated files. It allows users to upload data either directly from hospital scanners and PACS systems, via ZIP files through the web interface or from a personal computer using a desktop client. Data stored in XNAT is associated with user defined projects from which data can easily be shared. A web UI allows users to explore, view, manage and download their data from any location with an internet connection. The XNAT developers also provide a rich REST API which can be used to develop custom tools for interacting with data stored within XNAT.

UCL’s XNAT servers are a central resource available to researchers at UCL, collaborating partners such as UCLH and the wider medical imaging research community. The servers are managed, maintained and supported by the Medical Imaging Research Software Group (MIRSG). There are three main servers available, which are hosted by the UCL computer science department:

  1. Internal – accessible within UCL network (connect via CS or UCL VPN if off-campus)
  2. Collaboration - accessible from UCL and collaborating partner institutions (UCLH, other hospitals, collaborating universities etc).
  3. Open - accessible from anywhere without a VPN. For password-controlled projects and for general open access to data (e.g. for funding bodies) and for linking data as supporting information to publications via DOIs.

How to get access to the XNAT service

If you are setting up a new project, please contact MIRSG to discuss your requirements by emailing rc-softdev@ucl.ac.uk with ‘Medical Imaging’ in the subject line. We will ask you to fill out a project request form for requirements capture.

Access to an existing project within a UCL-XNAT server can be granted by a member of MIRSG or a designated project owner. To gain access to a project you will need to email either the project owner or MIRSG explaining which project you need access to and why.

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