NIH | National Cancer Institute | NCI Wiki  

Error rendering macro 'rw-search'


Versions Compared


  • This line was added.
  • This line was removed.
  • Formatting was changed.

caDSR logo

titleContents of this Page
Table of Contents
titlecaDSR Links
titleRelated Links

Metadata Needs and Support

The caDSR supports a broad community of users both inside and outside of NCI that have requirements to ensure the longevity and aggregability of biomedical research data.  Participants have included NCI and its partners in academic institutions (including NCI Designated Cancer Centers, SPOREs and Cooperative Groups), other NIH institutes (including NICHD, NHLBI and NIDCR), other federal agencies (in particular the FDA), pharmaceutical companies, standards development organizations (e.g. CDISC) and a range of international biomedical organizations. For more information see the caDSR Collaborations and Use.


Because so many groups need metadata content, and to ensure that the recording of metadata does not become a bottleneck in the research process, all caDSR roles are open to individuals in the community upon completion of appropriate training. Training is role based and includes courses on infrastructure, methodologies, and tool usage. Most of the training is managed through self-paced modules, while the actual tool use modules are done through web sessions. More information can be found on the caCORE training wiki.


About caDSR

CBIIT’s management of metadata began as part of an effort to support CTEP’s reporting for breast cancer trials, and from a need to develop and disseminate standards that would ensure consistency and accuracy in reporting across the Cooperative Groups. This led to the establishment of a centralized resource and associated web-based tools for clearly documenting and sharing human- and machine-readable data descriptions. The need to maintain and share data about data, or metadata, became the basis for the NCI’s repository of CDEs, metadata and data standards, what is now known as the caDSR. A CDE Steering Committee was formed to define what kind of metadata was needed for the repository. Driven by the needs from community to create, share, and manage CDEs, a set of metadata attributes was established, which included name, definition, valid values, and workflow status. Consultation with appropriate experts identified ISO 11179, an international standard for data-element registries, as meeting the needs identified by the CDE Steering committee. As time went on, more groups wanted to record their data elements and share them via the caDSR, so additional features were added, including extensions of ISO 11179 to enable storage templates for CRFs that use CDEs.


A note on the term “Common Data Element”. While originally intended to mean a data element that was reused, the term has come to mean any description of a variable and its valid values. In this document, we will use the standard NCI version of this definition, which is to say a variable description (including valid values) described in the caDSR using its implementation of the ISO 11179 variable, regardless of whether the element in question has been used more than once.

About the caDSR Wiki

This is the wiki home page for caDSR. You may edit pages if you are working on them with the authors. You are welcome to leave comments. This wiki includes the following.


  • caDSR Projects
    Focuses on specific projects. The pages include projects spanning across tools and products and projects involving inter-metadata registry sharing. For projects related to one specific tool, refer to the caDSR Database and Tools section.

Documentation and FAQs

Email Lists and Forums


Email address or URL


caDSR End User Discussions forum

caDSR End User Discussions forum

For end user issues regarding the caDSR tools and content

caDSR Developer Discussions forum

caDSR Developer Discussions forum

For developer issues regarding the caDSR APIs and use of caDSR Metadata

caDSR Users List


Archive for content users such as Curators

caDSR Developers List


Archive for developers using caDSR Metadata, such as UML Model owners (subscription required)

caDSR Tools Download List


For adopters

All NIH List Servers


Index of all NIH mail lists

NCICB Support

NCICB Support


Include Page
caDSR Product Status At A Glance
caDSR Product Status At A Glance

NEW How to Cite caDSR

To cite the NCI Semantic Infrastructure, use the following reference.