OpenfMRI provides a resource for researchers to make their MRI data openly available to the research community.


Russell A. Poldrack1, Krzysztof J. Gorgolewski1, Kelsey Wheeler2, Yaroslav O. Halchenko2, Jean-Babtiste Poline3, Deanna M. Barch, Jason P. Mitchell4, Tor D. Wager5, Anthony D. Wagner6, Joseph T. Devlin7, Chad Cumba1, Oluwasanmi Koyejo8 and Michael P. Milham9

Estimated cost



Stable release – Datasets are available under Public Domain Dedication and License v1.0


Dedicated to the free and open sharing of raw MRI datasets

OpenfMRI strives to be a neuroimaging data sharing platform that provides curated datasets in a way that maximizes their long term availability and reuse. It is a repository of human brain imaging data collected using MRI and EEG techniques. The OpenfMRI project differs from other successful data sharing projects such as BrainMap, Neurosynth and SUMS-DB in that it provides the basis for sharing of complete raw fMRI datasets of processed data.

No registration or license agreement is required to obtain the data, which is distributed, by default, using a Public Domain license. This is possible because data are anonymized before distribution to protect the confidentiality of participants.

OpenfMRI has adopted the Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS) format as its standard format for shared, curated datasets. The goal of BIDS is to define a powerful, flexible, and consistent framework for integrating the diverse types of experimental data routinely acquired in neuroimaging studies. Open source tools are available for working with BIDS datasets.

The data deposited in helps understand how the human brain and mental illnesses works. In addition open availability of data supporting scientific claims increases their validity due to ease of analysis replication.


Gorgolewski, K.J., Wheeler, K., et al., 2015. The impact of shared data in neuroimaging: the case of

Poldrack, R.A. et al., 2013. Toward open sharing of task-based fMRI data: the OpenfMRI project. Frontiers in neuroinformatics, 7(July), pp.1–12.

Poldrack, R.A. & Gorgolewski, K.J., 2014. Making big data open: data sharing in neuroimaging. Nature neuroscience, 17(11), pp.1510–1517.


1Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, 2Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA, 3Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California at Berkeley, CA, USA, 4Department of Psychology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA, 5Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, 6Department of Psychology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA, 7Department of Psychology and Neurosciences Program, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, 8Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences, University College London, London, UK, 9Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA, 10Center for the Developing Brain, Child Mind Institute, New York, NY, USA