Application description and policy model in collaborative environment for sharing of information on epidemiological and clinical research data sets.


BACKGROUND: Sharing of epidemiological and clinical data sets among researchers is poor at best, in detriment of science and community at large. The purpose of this paper is therefore to (1) describe a novel Web application designed to share information on study data sets focusing on epidemiological clinical research in a collaborative environment and (2) create a policy model placing this collaborative environment into the current scientific social context. METHODOLOGY: The Database of Databases application was developed based on feedback from epidemiologists and clinical researchers requiring a Web-based platform that would allow for sharing of information about epidemiological and clinical study data sets in a collaborative environment. This platform should ensure that researchers can modify the information. A Model-based predictions of number of publications and funding resulting from combinations of different policy implementation strategies (for metadata and data sharing) were generated using System Dynamics modeling. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The application allows researchers to easily upload information about clinical study data sets, which is searchable and modifiable by other users in a wiki environment. All modifications are filtered by the database principal investigator in order to maintain quality control. The application has been extensively tested and currently contains 130 clinical study data sets from the United States, Australia, China and Singapore. Model results indicated that any policy implementation would be better than the current strategy, that metadata sharing is better than data-sharing, and that combined policies achieve the best results in terms of publications. CONCLUSIONS: Based on our empirical observations and resulting model, the social network environment surrounding the application can assist epidemiologists and clinical researchers contribute and search for metadata in a collaborative environment, thus potentially facilitating collaboration efforts among research communities distributed around the globe.





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Publication Info

de Carvalho, EC, AP Batilana, J Simkins, H Martins, J Shah, D Rajgor, A Shah, S Rockart, et al. (2010). Application description and policy model in collaborative environment for sharing of information on epidemiological and clinical research data sets. PLoS One, 5(2). p. e9314. 10.1371/journal.pone.0009314 Retrieved from

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Scott F Rockart

Associate Professor of the Practice

Scott Rockart earned an MBA in 1996 from MIT and a PhD in 2001 from MIT in behavioral and policy sciences and management science. He spent two years as an assistant professor at London Business School (2000-2002) and then was an assistant professor at Fuqua from 2002-2010. He was also an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 2010 – 2016. Scott rejoined Fuqua in 2017 as an associate professor of the practice in the strategy area. He is the Eads Associate Professor of the Practice in Energy Finance in Fuqua and Faculty Fellow in the Energy Initiative 

Scott’s scholarly work is focused on policies for repeated decision making (e.g., decisions about pricing, investment, research, and product offerings). His research has appeared in Management Science, System Dynamics Review, and Strategic Management Journal. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the Strategic Management Journal and Organization Science.

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