The Electrophysiology Task Force of the INCF Program on Standards for Data Sharing has a HDF5 Working Group  developed a set of requirements for a standard for storing neurophysiology data. These requirements were originally intended to be for an HDF5 based format, but they are applicable to any storage method and are not particular to any set of experimental species.

The purpose of the requirements document is to specify the basic data types required for storing electrophysiology and optical imaging data to facilitate computer-based neuroscience studies and data sharing.



Link to Neurodata Without Borders

The goal for Neurodata Without Borders (NWB) is to develop a common, integrated data format for neurophysiology, which is sufficiently flexible and extensible to incorporate present and future electrophysiological and optical physiology data (i.e. cellular imaging) and to include complex metadata related to stimuli and behavior. The stored information will include metadata (experimental variables), processed data (e.g. spike times, behavioral events), intermediate level data (e.g. local field potential, spike waveforms, position data), and wide-band raw data for enabling reproducibility and cross-validation. The metadata will be based on an expansible, yet controlled vocabulary, using the public neuro-ontology NeuroLex (which is supported by INCF and NIF). The HDF5 standard is a strong candidate for a structured data container, likely to be chosen as an element of the new common data format.