Skip to main content

Call for community review of Digital SWC Reconstructions Describing Neuron Morphology (SWC) - deadline August 15, 2023

16 June 2023

INCF is asking for your help to review the Digital SWC Reconstructions Describing Neuron Morphology (SWC) to assess their value as a community standard.

Participating is simple; read the INCF SBP committee review report here and leave your feedback in the comments! You can comment to express your support, to point out possibilities for improvement - or both. We are especially interested in hearing from researchers producing, sharing or reusing neuromorphological data, and from tool developers who would be interested in implementing support for neuromorphology standards or use them as part of their workflow.

SWC files (file extension of .swc) are text-based (ASCII text) files that describe three-dimensional neuronal or glial morphology. These digital reconstructions represent morphology as a vectorized tree structure, made of a series of connected nodes. An SWC file contains a series of text-based rows where each neuron node is described by a single row of only seven space-separated values. The format is simple and intuitive; a parser of or writer to the format could be implemented by anyone with knowledge of any programming language. With an open archive and freely available structure editor, the SWC system facilitates community-wide pooling of data for building biophysically realistic neuronal models and studying the morphological variation between neurons, contributing to a greater neuroscientific cooperation and openness.

Feedback from the community is an important part of our review process; it helps us ensure that the standard has community support and is useful and practical to the community. By commenting, you contribute to improving the standard for current and future users!

The community review is open until August 15, 2023.