Spinal Cord Research Centre

SCRC Data Capture and Analysis Software Tutorials

Experiment Database and Organization

In Dr. McCrea's lab here at the SCRC, we've developed a system of tracking all our experiments in a searchable database. This system involves a systematic approach to organizing and naming the experiment data files and directories, as well as paying close attention to the run descriptions, which we edit after the experiment to assure a good set of searchable keywords. The whole procedure is explained in our on-line tuturial #10, How to update, backup and insert new database records.

A key part of this procedure is the transfer of experiment data file summaries from the Linux capture and analysis system into a FileMaker Pro database. This is accomplished with a shell script we developed specifically for this purpose, the getrundata program, which you can download from our analysis script archive. This program generates CSV (comma-separated values) records, to be imported into the database, which summarize the experiment name, run name, path to the file, length, and channel names for each file, as well as the run descriptions. Once imported into specific fields into the database, many other pieces of information can also be edited to aid with searches.

Another feature of this database is it includes a link for each run file in the database, to a summary page that is generated by a web server running on our analysis system. These summary pages show a thumbnail image of the data in that run, which appears something like this:


Also featured on the actual summary pages, which require a login to the server, is a link to fire up the analysis program on that run file, using a remote X11 session. This allows one to search for data that fits specific criteria, quickly view summaries of these experiments to pick out the ones of interest, and then go on to analyze the runs you've picked out, all from the PC at your desk.

See also: SCRC Software On-line Documentation, SCRC Software Tutorials

© Copyright 2004, G. R. Detillieux, Spinal Cord Research Centre, University of Manitoba. All Rights Reserved. Contact Us for more information.
Revised January 12, 2004.