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Guidelines for starting an OHDSI chapter - Feedback Wanted!

Hi Everyone,

There have been questions circulating about how to form a regional OHDSI chapter. So we’ve developed some guidelines for becoming an OHDSI chapter and would love to hear your feedback. Please review the guide below and let us know if you have any comments or ideas to add:

Definition of an OHDSI Chapter
An OHDSI chapter represents a group of OHDSI collaborators located in a geographic area who wish to hold local networking events and meetings to address problems specific to their geographic location.

Process of becoming an OHDSI Chapter

  1. Call a meeting of all collaborators in the area who might be interested in supporting a chapter of OHDSI. Carefully consider the motivation for creating the new chapter and objectively discuss whether or not potential changes in how existing chapters are managed might accommodate the needs expressed by your group.
  2. If sufficient interest exists, elect officers who will be responsible for the chapter’s overall governance, organization, communication, funding and events.
  3. Submit a letter of intent to the OHDSI coordinating center. The letter must include:
  4. A list of all chapter members, the list must include at least 5 OHDSI collaborators.
  5. A description outlining the chapter’s aims and objectives

All OHDSI Chapters must adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. The aims and objectives of the chapter must adopt OHDSI’s mission, vision and values
  2. All activities, events and meetings must be inclusive and open to all who wish to participate
  3. All materials and documents must be openly accessible on the internet. If the chapter chooses to maintain a website, that website must include links to OHDSI.org
  4. All chapters must meet regularly (either in-person or remotely) to discuss making progress towards their intended goals
  5. All chapters are responsible for their own governance, organization and funding.
  6. All chapters are responsible for communicating chapter activities to collaborators located within their geographic region.
  7. All chapters must submit an annual report to the OHDSI coordinating center detailing their activities and achievements over the past year.
  8. The OHDSI coordinating center reserves the right to disband a chapter if their activities do not align with OHDSI’s mission

Thank you for this invaluable post, @MauraBeaton
Since Korea has OHDSI Chapter, I focused on the guidelines we need to adhere.

Currently, Korea hold regular in-person OHDSI meeting, bimonthly. CIOs from more than 10 hospitals keep joining this meeting. This meeting is totally open to anyone who want to join.

In the first Korean OHDSI meeting, all of us agreed to adopt OHDSI’s mission, vision and values for our aims and objectives. Currently, Ajou university primarily supports the organization and funding for this activity. We try to share our slides and materials to other Korean researchers.

And yes, we will submit an annual report to the OHDSI coordinating center for our activities and achievements (I think we can summarize our activity around December).


Thank you @MauraBeaton for the timely information. We plan to announce the OHDSI Taiwan chapter by next week (21st August 2018) and definitely will follow the instructions you suggested from OHDSI for chapter. We are also in touch with Korean OHDSI chapter team Rae and Chan to learn about their successful chapter as well as with Martijn for an overall guidance. We are thankful to all.

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@MauraBeaton - Hello MauraBeaton, I am from Singapore. I would like to know whether we can start/form a group with the intention to find people who are working on similar projects for the purpose of knowledge sharing. I recently graduated and don’t really have much authority to kind of decide on the items which are mentioned in guidelines. My aim was to create group to identify people so that it would be easy for us to kind of sort out issues related to this geography and also learn from people around

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I am from Singapore too and am part of a team who has been exploring the use of the OHDSI Common Data model. We would be interested to join your Chapter so that we can learn from each other too. Thank you!

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@hui_xing_tan - I have messaged you.

I think some version of the idea of a regional chapter with defined goals may be useful inside the US. We held a training at Tufts for people in the greater Boston area including Worcester and southern Maine - Thanks @schuemie, @msuchard, @jreps, @Christian_Reich, @krfeeney, and @anthonysena!

That exposed a local group of researchers, statisticians, data analysts and others to the OHDSI tool stack and community for the first time. One strategy I’ve been considering for following up with people who received training is a local OHDSI user group. This would be less formal in structure than a chapter as defined above. No officers etc. But it would still have goals. It wouldn’t have a website or independent identity. It would simply seek to facilitate greater engagement with the OHDSI community and OHDSI tools by meeting regularly to present progress toward research-related goals that participants define.

The point would not be to work on goals that are specific to this regional group or develop a separate regional identity and activities apart from the rest of the OHDSI community. Rather it would be to facilitate adoption of OHDSI tools and engagement with the larger OHDSI community at places that have an OMOP CDM and to provide guidance and connections that user groupl members should take advantage of.

I think this is different enough from the idea of a chapter as defined above to call it something else. But it’s clearly related. It’s also focused on nurturing studies in a way that @SCYou, @schuemie, @msuchard and @krfeeney have been thinking about.

I’d be grateful for people’s ideas about how to make the most of this kind of post OHDSI tool training activity now that our OMOP CDW is stood up and whether we should follow the chapter model or some other model.

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Actually, this is what we’ve pursued in Korea, Promoting adoption of OMOP-CDM, Facilitating using OHDSI tools and Encouraging engagement with the international OHDSI community.
Sometimes, it was too much of a burden to us. Still, we’re constantly working on this.

And we’ll support you @Andrew

Thanks @SCYou! Your example of fostering engagement and contributions to the larger OHDSI community is such a helpful model. And we’ll support you too!