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From strings to things: ClinicalTrials.gov

From: Kerstin Forsberg <kerstin.l.forsberg@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2013 13:58:00 +0100
Message-ID: <CAKi6PjXpGbzc86+2CfTv2Kgg6npHNPzXEHLM4NXq9oY0G6ZsYA@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org
Cc: em@zepheira.com, cdsouthan@hotmail.com, brendan.kelleher@karmadata.com, Adam.Jacobs@dianthus.co.uk
a couple of tweets, blog post comments 1) and email exchanges during the
week on moving ClinicalTrials.gov "from strings to things" made me think
this could be a topic for discussion at the upcoming CSHALS. As I'll not be
able to be there in person I'm using this email list to hear your thoughts.

We see many nice examples of curated/standardized feeds of CT.gov data,
such as http://linkedct.org, http://www.patientslikeme.com/clinical_trialsand
http://www.clinicalcollections.org/trials/ etc.. Most of them do a good job
in turning “strings into things” and a few of them apply the Linked Data
principles. However, I don’t think any of them use http-based URIs to
identify things such as sponsor organization, clinical sites, clinical
investigators, geography, disease, drug, and time.

I argue that we as a community caring for clinical trials data should push
back to FDA and NLM to get an official, standardized, linked data interface
directly to the CT.gov at source. And yes, also for FDA and NLM to push
back to pharma companies to provide standardized data about our trials with
URIs to identify things instead of all these text strings. And also if
pharma company websites such as http://www.gsk-clinicalstudyregister.com/and
http://www.astrazenecaclinicaltrials.com/ did the same.

Given the current movement for clinical trial data transparency 2) I may
think the timing is good. But, potentially challenging both for FDA, NLM
and for the pharma companies. They (we) will all look for practical advice
on what URIs to use for things such as drugs and organizations.


Received on Saturday, 16 February 2013 12:58:27 UTC

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