Common Terminology

A crucial aspect of making data interoperable and reusable is using common definitions for the same things, such that data collected in one study is comparable to the data collected by others. For instance, what one researcher defines as "injury severity" is the same across the research community. However, this is extremely challenging in practice because there is generally not only a single way to define what we do in the laboratory. A solution can be common terminologies that serve as reference models and standards for defining data variables (also known as data elements). These provide information on how to name variables, and their definitions and, in some instances, define how the variables need to be collected or measured to fulfill those definitions.

The ODC uses different sets of common terminologies depending on the community and the projects supported.

These common terminologies are still in development and are likely to evolve and change over time. We can help to understand and navigate these terminologies. Contact us if you need help!

ODC-SCI supported common terminology

ODC-SCI community data elements (CoDEs). The ODC-SCI has a set of data elements endorsed by the community board that serves as the minimal required variables necessary for making data public through the ODC-SCI.

ODC-TBI supported common terminology

There are currently several federally-supported efforts to develop and update common data elements for TBI. Prominent examples are:

  • PRECISE-TBI CDEs. The PRE Clinical Interagency reSearch resourcE-TBI (PRECISE-TBI) project uses the ODC-TBI as a data-sharing platform. PRECISE-TBI is developing a set of CDEs for pre-clinical TBI research. Those CDEs will be available for their use as common terminology for data shared through the ODC-TBI.

  • TOP-NT TBI CDEs. The Translational Outcomes Project In Neurotrauma (TOP-NT) is a consortium for developing and validating clinically relevant biomarkers for traumatic brain injury (TBI).

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