Frequently Asked Questions

What is the forum’s mission?

The goal is to embrace the diversity of the scientific imaging community, while fostering independent learning:

  • Enable people to ask “how do I do X?” without prior knowledge of the topic.

  • Improve the cross-visibility of approaches to imaging theory, imaging experimental design, and hardware & acquisition software performance & troublehooting.

  • Make searching for previous discussions simpler.

  • Give users access to a wide breadth of experts in the imaging field.

  • Give experts a place to have detailed discussions about their techniques.

  • Educate software developers on the capabilities of the various projects being discussed, so that they can improve the links between tools, and develop features that are more likely to be novel.

  • Encourage open science and reproducible research by advocating for open tools and their interoperability.

  • Foster not only scientific independent thinking, but just as importantly, independent learning. We want to not only teach people how to fish, but teach them how to learn.

How do I post to Microforum?

If you are new to the Discourse platform we use for this forum, the Discourse New User Guide will give you the basics.

How is the content organized?

Content is organized using non-hierarchical Categories and Tags.

We’ve created four categories for Q&A/discussions:

  1. Theory
  2. Hardware
  3. Acquisition Software
  4. Probes & Prep

We’ve also created categories for Announcements (meetings, jobs etc.), Blogposts (share your own or favorites) and Commercial (for company announcements & marketing).

Use tags to get more specific. For example, if you post a question in the Hardware category about lasers for confocal, you should add the laser and confocal tags. This will help people narrow the scope of their attention as needed based on their time and interest, and will ensure your post will appear in relevant searches.

What about image analysis questions?

Microforum’s primary focus is specimen, hardware and acquisition. We encourage you to post questions about image analysis, processing, storage, and management on our sister forum,

How do I learn about using this forum?

If you are new to the Discourse platform that we use for this forum, the Discourse New User Guide is a good place to learn the basics.

Can I get an email digest of new posts?

By default, when you have not visited the site in a while, you will receive a weekly email summary of topics and replies. You can change the frequency of these emails in your user preferences (click on the gear icon in your avatar at the top right).

I work for a company. Can I post on Microforum?

Discussion of how to solve scientific problems with commercial solutions is very welcome, as long as it encourages independent learning, rather than being advertorial. We’ve created four categories for Q&A/discussions: Theory, Hardware, acquisition Software and Probes & Prep. Providing data and/or specific theoretical and hardware explanations for your suggestions is educational; opinions given without data and explanation are considered advertorial. Advertorial posts added to discussion categories will be removed by admin.

If you would like to advertise a new product and/or post links marketing materials, this should be done using the Commercial category only.

Who are the Microforum Admin and Moderators?

Microforum was created by the Admins. Microforum Moderators are imaging experts who develop imaging hardware, techniques and probes. They are encouraged to both contribute to Microforum in the form of questions and answers, and to mark excellent answers as a “Solution” to the original question. As a forum user, you will receive a badge for your first and 10th “Solution”. Your badges are visible to all forum users.

Admin and Moderators are involved in general monitoring and responding on the forum, addressing and handling of flagging of inappropriate or unnecessary forum posts (defined by our Guidelines), and collectively determining general forum protocols and procedures.

How do I give feedback?

This site is operated by the Admins and driven by you, the community. If you have any further questions about how things should work here, start a new topic in the Site Feedback category. For concerns that cannot be discussed publicly, contact us as described on the About page.

What are the terms of service?

See the Terms of Service page.