Digital Histology Shared Resource (DHSR) Data Management Policy.
The Digital Histology Shared Resource (DHSR) considers all whole-slide images created using a DHSR-owned whole-slide scanning device as data. The DHSR stores all data collected through the DHSR indefinitely. This is due to the nature of the whole slide images created:
1. Whole-slide images are captured and stored as pyramidal and/or geospatial tiff files. These are not simple images that can be opened with typical image/photo software but are specialized large-data format file types that require specialized software.
2. Whole-slide images are massive montages of individual image tiles, which are then stored in descending image scales (pyramidal). Each whole-slide file can be extremely large in size (from 0.5GB to 50GB). Many users do not have the disk space or RAM power to open one of these images on their own.
Storage of DHSR-captured whole slide images is through VUMC IT network storage. This network attached storage (NAS) system has a 90-day snapshot for immediate recovery and periodic (monthly) images for long-term recovery. In addition, non-clinical whole slide images are backed up through Dropbox cloud storage with indefinite snapshots. The cost of this storage is built into the cost of slide scanning.
Through a web-based interface, the DHSR offers VUMCID/VUNET-protected online viewers for all collected data. These viewers also allow users to download their own data, if they choose to. The DHSR does not take responsibility for copies of data a user has copied to their own device.
Users may request to transfer large data sets in bulk from the DHSR. This is done in person, at an agreed upon time and date. Users my only transfer data via a network connection to another VUMC/VU network attached storage or computer. No external devices will be allowed.
NOTE: TRANSFER OF ANY CLINICALLY RELEVANT WHOLE SLIDE IMAGES REQUIRES AN ACTIVE IRB. THE IRB MUST EXPLICITLY LIST THE RECIPIENTS AND WHAT DATA THEY ARE ALLOWED ACCESS TO. SUCH TRANSFERS ALSO REQUIRE THE EXPRESS CONSENT OF THE HEAD REPRESENTATIVE OF ANY RELEVANT DEPARTMENT(S).