Creating and Managing Projects

Data stored within XNAT is organized according to projects. To manage data within your XNAT you will need to create projects which your data can be assigned to. In some situations, these projects correspond directly to grant approved studies. In other situations, projects can correspond to individual collection sites for a multi-site study. You are free to use any project organization scheme you choose. However, remember that user permissions for access to data are governed by the user's access to particular projects. So, if you only have one project in your XNAT, you will have limited options for governing access to that data.

All data stored in XNAT must be associated with a project. This association is the basis of the XNAT security model. Users are given access to data which belongs to a particular project. In order to upload any data to XNAT, you must first create a project.

Creating a Project

Go to New -> Project in the top navigation

Required Fields:

Project Title The full title of your project, which will appear in the site-wide project listing.
Running Title This is an abbreviated project name, which will appear in search listings and data tables.
Project ID This ID is used within the XNAT database and in all API calls related to your project and its data. Once set, it cannot be changed.


Optional Fields:

Description Add as much detail as you like describing your project. This will show up in the project page, and in the site-wide project listing.
Keywords Keywords can be searched for in the primary search field, and can help you find project data in an XNAT system with many projects.
Aliases These are optional project identifiers. A common reason to use them would be for billing codes.

Setting Project Investigators

Assigning an investigator to a project does not grant that person access to the project. A user account is required to gain project access.

Project Investigators can be added to projects as reference values only. These do not need to correspond to user accounts in your XNAT webapp. A common reason to use this would be for identification of primary investigators or researchers associated with a study, or with multiple studies.

You can register investigators in your XNAT by clicking the "Create Investigator" button in the Add Project form.

You can associate any registered investigators in your XNAT with your project. You can also assign a single investigator as a primary investigator.

Setting Project Accessibility

This setting allows you to manage who can view project data, or even have awareness of the existence of your project in XNAT. There are three possible accessibility settings.

Public All XNAT users will be able to view or download your project and its data. Owners of other XNAT projects can share your data into their studies. If your XNAT security settings allow guest access, then any visitor to the web application will be able to view and download your data.
Protected All XNAT users will be able to see your project title and description in site-wide listings, but only users assigned by project owners will be able to access its data.
Private Only XNAT users assigned by project owners will be able to see the project in XNAT, or access its data.

Saving Project Data

After completing the project creation dialog, you will be taken to the Project report page. This page is the central place for dealing with your new project. From here you can manage user access, manage project protocol details, monitor project progress, and directly manage stored data. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the options the Project Report page offers. They are different depending on your role in the project (Project Owners can manage user access, Project Members can create and edit data, Project Collaborators can only read/download data).

Managing User Access

Unless you have set your project to "Public" in the Project Accessibility setting above, access to your project data will be controlled by users you have specified in the "Access" tab on the Project page.

You can invite existing users by clicking the "Show List" button, or you can invite new users by their email address by clicking the "Add User" button. In either case, you have to choose what access level to give them: Project Owners, Project Members or Project Collaborators.

See: Understanding User Roles and Permissions.

Data Ownership and Sharing

Subjects and experiments are always owned by one (and only one) project. This project governs the ability of users to modify the data. However, it is common for a user with access to your project to share its data into their own project. When this occurs, your data cannot be modified in this second project, and any modification made to the data in your original project is also reflected in the second project.

See: Understanding Data Sharing in XNAT's Security Structure.

Project Reporting

The progress of your project can be monitored from the Project Report. The report includes two important sections for monitoring progress: Details & Listings. The Listings section displays detailed information about the data you have stored in your project.

The Project Listings section is a central point for XNAT users. From it you can quickly view the data within a project and link to particular entries. By default, data tables for Subjects and MR Sessions will be preloaded. However, you can add or remove data tables for any data type that exists in your project. You can also create and display any project-specific saved search here.

See:  Using Stored Searches