XNAT is an open source imaging informatics platform, developed by the Neuroinformatics Research Group at Washington University. It facilitates common management, productivity, and quality assurance tasks for neuro-imaging and associated data.

There are three core data-types in XNAT Projects, Subjects and Experiments. A project represents collection of data stored in XNAT. It is used to define the security structure of the data, which determines the access permissions, currently in terms of the roles owner, member, and collaborator. Subjects participate in studies and are always associated with a concrete project. An experiment is an event of data acquisition. It can contain imaging or non-imaging data. An image session captures the data acquired by imaging studies. It can contain scanned as well as processed image data. It has extensions for MR, PET, and other kinds of image scans sessions.

One of the core functionality of XNAT is supporting pipelines: mini-applications that can run complex processing on the project data. A pipeline is a workflow consisting of distinct steps. Each step of the pipeline usually invokes an executable or script for data processing. The pipeline defines the order in which the steps should be executed along with the needed parameters.

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