BIDS Format

The Brain Imaging Data Structure format (or BIDS format for short) is a standardized format for storing research data.

Benefits of Using BIDS

By keeping your files in BIDS format, you make it easier for other researchers to understand your dataset when re-using it. Also, keeping files in BIDS format allows you to use many softwares for analyzing data which exclusively support BIDS format.

BIDS at the DCCN

Automatic research data uploads from the MRI and MEG lab computers save data in BIDS format. Manual research data uploads using Uploader also save data in BIDS format.

However, when you preprocess the data and come up with results, you have to personally choose to maintain BIDS format.

BIDS Formatting

BIDS format adheres to the following conventions:


At the DCCN these are the following:

  • Project - the 9 digit number you receive for your project (i.e. 1234567.89)

  • Data - the type of data you will have in this folder (i.e. raw, preprocessed, or results)

  • Subject - the subject number defined by the calendar booking (i.e. 001, 019, or 104)

  • Session - the session number defined by the calendar booking (i.e. 01, 03, 10)

  • Modality - the data modality you will save (i.e. mri, eeg, beh)

So if I am running project 3010000.05 and I want to save raw behavioral data (a file called behav_data.csv) from subject 010’s second session, when I give these inputs into Uploader these would show up on the HPC Cluster as:


and if I was collecting MRI data, these would appear automatically in:


Take Home Messages
  • BIDS format is beneficial for improving the re-usability of your research data and opening the opportunity to use certain software packages

  • Complying with BIDS format is made easier within the context of the DCCN