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caDSR Context Administrators Biweekly Meeting

The Context Administrators meet every two weeks to discuss topics related to caDSR Content, including documentation of business rules and best practices for development and recording of metadata, harmonization of caDSR content, and adoption of data standards. The minutes of these meeting are posted on GForge


Provide feedback

Feedback about caDSR content is welcome on the caDSR Users List.

caDSR Content

A goal of the Cancer Data Standards Registry (caDSR) program is to define a comprehensive set of standardized metadata descriptors for cancer research data for use in information collection and analysis.

Various NCI offices and partner organizations have developed the content of the caDSR by registration of data elements based on data standards, data collection forms, databases, clinical applications, data exchange formats, UML models, and vocabularies.

Based on the ISO/IEC 11179 model for metadata registration, information about names, definitions, permissible values, and semantic concepts for common data elements (CDEs) have been recorded. caDSR tools are available to create, locate, and use the metadata to support finding and understanding research data.


The metadata information in the caDSR is developed by groups or organizations divided into domain-specific work areas called Contexts. A Context Curator for each group provides oversight for creation, maintenance, and designation of CDEs within the Context. A list of contact information for Context Administrators and Context Curators is available.

The current Contexts in the caDSR are listed below with the Context Administrator for each.

Business Rules and Best Practices

The Context Administrators have agreed to Business Rules for development of caDSR content. The rules outline best practices for creation, assignment of metadata statuses, and maintenance of the various metadata components.

Harmonization of caDSR Content

The Context Administrators work together to coordinate and harmonize metadata development efforts so common building blocks for data capture and reporting can be created. The goal is to ensure that shareable CDEs are not redundant across contexts and are based on the consensus of participating Contexts. To help minimize redundancy and duplication of CDEs across Contexts, the Context Administrators encourage reuse, or designation, of existing CDEs by other Contexts. Often an item is a candidate for reuse if minor edits can be made. If changes are needed to caDSR content, please contact the owning Context Curator.

caBIG NCI Data Standards

The NCI, together with its partners in the Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG™ ) community, is actively developing CDEs and standard vocabularies to be used as metadata descriptors for NCI-sponsored research and for caCORE/caBIG™ applications. The Context Administrators, in their biweekly meetings, identify subject areas for standardization, develop CDEs and supporting documentation, and present proposed data standards to the caBIG™ Vocabulary and Common Data Element Workgroup (VCDE ) for review. The caBIG™ Data Standards Development and Governance Model helps guide data standard development for the caBIG™/NCI community. The data standards that have been adopted and those currently under review may be seen on the caBIG™/NCI Data Standards page.

Metadata Development Training
Best practices training for caDSR metadata creation is available. The Training page provides a link to the training curriculum and instructions for enrollment in the classes offered.

Tools for caDSR Metadata Development
The caCORE User Applications Manual describes the caDSR Curation Tool, CDE Browser and Administration Tool. Step-by-step instructions guide the user through each of the major features of each tool including screen snapshots to aid user understanding. Classes for using the tools are also listed on the Training page.

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