Seven quick tips for analysis scripts in neuroimaging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Research units


Unorganized heaps of analysis code are a growing liability as data analysis pipelines are getting longer and more complicated. This is worrying, as neuroscience papers are getting retracted due to programmer error. Furthermore, analysis code is increasingly published as the push towards open science continues, so the quality of your code becomes public knowledge. In this paper, some guidelines are presented that help keep analysis code well organized, easy to understand and convenient to work with:

1. Each analysis step is one script
2. A script either processes a single recording, or aggregates across recordings, never both
3. One master script to run the entire analysis
4. Save all intermediate results
5. Visualize all intermediate results
6. Each parameter and filename is defined only once
7. Distinguish files that are part of the official pipeline from other scripts

In addition to discussing the reasoning behind each guideline, an example analysis pipeline is presented as a case study to see how each guideline translates into code.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalPLoS computational biology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 Aug 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • data analysis, scripting, guidelines, programming

ID: 34657575