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Neuroimaging Data Access

All data is collected and provided for access and conversion into BIDS on

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All dicoms are organized into YEAR/MONTH/DATE/ACCESSION hierarchy under /inbox/DICOM. You can scp or rsync them to your local storage.


At the moment, upon request from a lab member to Yaroslav Halchenko, data is converted from DICOMs into BIDS within the directories hierarchy under /inbox/BIDS, following convention described in ReproIn section (TODO: make into a reference).

These directories are also DataLad datasets, so you have two options on how to transfer them:

DataLad way

Make sure you have git configured, in that it knows about you. If you have output to running git config command, then most likely you are all set. If it comes out empty, please do

git config --global "First Last"
git config --global "someemail@address"

while replacing those values with your name and email.

If you are doing it to discovery HPC, please first checkout the next section of this documentation below (Discovery filesystem) on how to configure your git for Discovery's ACL filesystem, unless you know that it is pure POSIX.

Then it is recommended to create a directory for your study first, e.g. mkdir ID_name where ID_name are the same as on rolando, e.g. 0001_dbic-animals, and cd into it, e.g.:

mkdir 0001_dbic-animals
cd 0001_dbic-animals

Use datalad install command to obtain dataset, and then datalad get to obtain specific files. If you are greedy, add -r to get full hierarchy of datasets, and/or -g to immediately also fetch all data files

datalad install -s dbic
cd dbic
datalad get -J4 sub-*  # to get only converted data, without tarballs etc

Later upgrades to fetch new data (subjects etc) could be done via

datalad update --how merge -r


Discovery filesystem

Unfortunately the filesystem used on discovery by default does not support smooth git-annex and thus DataLad operation. If you use datalad install or datalad clone as instructed above, you would likely to endup in "adjusted" git-annex branch which would complicate your interactions with the data, etc. We recommend to use new feature of git-annex allowing for custom protection of data on discovery. For that

Step 1: make sure you are using recent git-annex

Make sure that you are using recent (at least as of January 2023) version of git-annex. For that you could use the version we provide and just adjust your ~/.bashrc with the following content:

echo $PATH | grep -q "$ANNEX_BIN_PATH" || export PATH="$ANNEX_BIN_PATH:$PATH"

So whenever you re-login (or open a new bash) and type git annex version you should get version past above date.

Step 2: configure git-annex to use custom data protection

Adjust you global ~/.gitconfig with the following section

thawcontent-command = /dartfs/rc/lab/D/DBIC/DBIC/archive/bin-annex/thaw-content %path
freezecontent-command = /dartfs/rc/lab/D/DBIC/DBIC/archive/bin-annex/freeze-content %path

which also could be done via running commands

git config --global annex.thawcontent-command '/dartfs/rc/lab/D/DBIC/DBIC/archive/bin-annex/thaw-content %path'
git config --global annex.freezecontent-command '/dartfs/rc/lab/D/DBIC/DBIC/archive/bin-annex/freeze-content %path'

Step 3: make sure that directory has group ACL to remove children

It is the D ACE Permission: if folder lacks it, then git-annex will be unable to move read-only file under .git/annex. So, if you get a "Permission error" while trying to git annex add or datalad save, you might need to add that to the group permissions. Use /dartfs/rc/lab/D/DBIC/DBIC/archive/bin-annex/fix-dir-group-perm script with the folder under which you want to create/clone repo to add that D.

Now, after these 3 steps, whenever you datalad install data from rolando you should end up in master branch. If that doesn't happen - file an issue.

Parallel get - multiple passwords

If you are geting data to discovery, to non-POSIX compliant filesystem, then you must provide option -J1 to datalad get to prevent parallel downloads and multiple password prompts.

Reckless clone still wants to access rolando

TODO: Yarik figureout

(conda-20200210-datalad) [d31548v@discovery7 tmp]$ datalad install -s 1021_actions --reckless auto 1021_actions_reckless
[INFO   ] Fetching updates for <Dataset path=/dartfs/rc/lab/D/DBIC/DBIC/tmp/1021_actions_reckless>        

    Dartmouth College, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
                      Authorized access only's password: 

Old fashion way

scp or rsync. But you would need to take care about dereferencing symlinks.

rsync --exclude=.git --copy-links -r \ dbic-animals

You could add --exclude=sourcedata and/or --exclude=derivatives to exclude folders with original DICOMS and possible derivatives (fmriqc, etc).