Usage Tracking

The GDSC ImageJ plugins are a collection of analysis programs for microscopy images.

The use of these plugins is free and unconstrained. You can even get the source code and copy/modify them if you want. To understand how the plugins are being used around the world we have added some code to track usage. This will allow us to understand our user base and help us to improve the plugins. Example questions we can answer are:

  • Which plugins are popular?
  • How often people update to the latest version?
  • How many times people use different plugins in one ImageJ analysis session?
  • What plugins are frequently used together, and in what order?
  • What computer platform and software do we need to support?

To track usage we use Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. ("Google"). The information about your use of the plugins will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States.

You can opt out of this tracking at any time.

Please consider allowing tracking as it really will help improve our code, and will not impact your use of ImageJ.

Usage Data

No personal information is transmitted to Google. There is no information that uniquely identifies a person. No data currently open in ImageJ are sent. Only data about the GDSC plugins are sent. No data about any other actions within ImageJ are sent.

Data is only sent when a GDSC plugin is run. The following data is sent:

  • Name of the plugin
  • Plugin version
  • ImageJ version
  • Java version
  • Operating system (e.g. Windows, Linux, Mac OS)
  • Screen resolution1
  • User language

1 This is used to design dialogs that fit on the screen.

Performance

Note that usage tracking will not slow down ImageJ. The tracking is performed in the background only when the computer is doing nothing else. If it is always too busy then no tracking data will ever be sent.

If you are not connected to the internet then no tracking data will ever be sent, and you will not notice.

User Preferences

To notify users of Google Analytics a dialog is shown when the user runs a GDSC plugin and their preferences are not known. This will also happen when a release of the code has been made that affects the tracking data. The following options can be set:

  • Opt in - Enable Google Analytics.
    Set to false to prevent any data being collected.

Preferences are saved in the ImageJ preferences file. This is written when ImageJ closes and is used to store user preferences between ImageJ sessions. If ImageJ does not shut-down correctly then the preferences may not be stored. In this case you can just set them next time you run ImageJ.

The user can change their options at any time by running the Usage Tracker plugin.

Google Analytics Details

The code uses the Analytics Measurement Protocol. This allows any web connected application to record simple usage data. The GDSC plugins fully comply with the Google protocol policy. In brief this means that no data should be sent to Google that allows the user to be personally identified, and the user can opt-out at any time. If we break these rules then all our data and our account will be deleted by Google.

For further details on GDSC ImageJ plugins please contact Alex Herbert.