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caDSR Logo

titleContents of this Page
Table of Contents
titlecaDSR Links and Information
titleRelated Links

Include Page
CommonProjectswikicontent:Included Page of CBIIT and NCIP LinksCommonProjects
wikicontent:Included Page of CBIIT and NCIP Links

titleArchived Materials


Metadata Needs and Support


The word cloud that follows illustrates the broad variety of collections of data elements that are reposited in the caDSR for various communities and types of studies. 

caDSR word cloud as describedImage Removed caDSR word cloud as describedImage Added

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 NCI Clinical Trial Network (NCTN/ETCTN) and Lead Protocol Organizations (LPOs). This led to the establishment of a centralized resource and associated web-based tools for creating, 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 over time, a set of metadata attributes was established, which included attributes such as human friendly name(s), text definition(s), valid values, unique identifiers, and workflow status. Consultation with appropriate experts identified ISO 11179, an international standard for metadata 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 of metadata describing Case Report Forms (CRFs) that use CDE metadata as the basis for questions on the CRFs.


  • caDSR Database and Tools
    Provides access to caDSR tools and links to the tool summary page for current user documentation and technical information like release notes.
  • 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.
    caDSR for Application Developers
    Focuses on the software interfaces to the caDSR available to programmers and software developers. The pages include details on the caDSR API, XML messages produced and consumed by the caDSR products and the caDSR UML Model.

  • caDSR Installation and Implementation
    Focuses on Open Source adoption of the caDSR Database and Tools. The pages include ISO 11179 implementation extensions, software implementation architectures and Downloads.

  • caDSR Future Requirements
    We continually look at new requirements and have an initiative begun in 2014 to replace the aging software and infrastructure currently supporting caDSR end users.  This is an opportunity to link our efforts more broadly with NIH wide CDE and metadata initiatives.  Please see the caDSR Requirements pages for more information.



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

CBIIT NCI Application Support

NCICB Application Support

How to Cite caDSR

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


Example: "NAACCR 11.1." PS & CC (NCI Population Sciences & Cancer Control), Classifications, Division of Population Cancer Control and Population Sciences, NCI caDSR CDE Browser. <> National Cancer Institute, Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology, 01 Oct. 2010. Web. 17 Jan. 2013