WG 7 – Metadata
For proper interpretation, microscopy images must be accompanied by both human-readable (i.e., Materials and Methods sections) and machine-readable (i.e., metadata) descriptions of all steps leading to image formation (i.e., ‘data provenance’ metadata) as well as by QC metrics detailing the illumination, detection, chromatic, optical and mechanical performance of the microscope. Nevertheless, no universally accepted community guidelines exist defining what ‘data provenance’ and QC metadata should be reported for distinct types of imaging data. Therefore, the metadata automatically recorded by different commercial microscopes can vary widely, posing a substantial challenge for microscope users to create a bona fide record of their work. To meet these challenges, the 4D Nucleome (4DN) Imaging Working Group and the BINA QC-DM WG have developed a tiered set of Microscopy Metadata guidelines and a suite of extensions of the OME Data Model that scale with experimental complexity and requirements, and are specifically tailored at enhancing comparability and reproducibility in light microscopy. WG7 aims to systematically evaluate the structure and semantics of the initial 4DN-BINA-OME extension proposal and to launch a coordinated outreach strategy towards reaching a wide community consensus around the proposed metadata specifications.