In OHDSI, everyone can propose and lead a network study. Lately there have been some changes to how that would work. In the past, you’d start by creating a page in the Research Studies Wiki, and proceed from there, and this is still how the process is documented. Now, it seems that the Wiki page will soon be retired, leaving many people confused on how to move ahead with their studies.
There are some other issues with the current process as well: the Github repo called ‘StudyProtocols’ often doesn’t contain the study protocol, but does contain the R package for executing the study. There’s a StudyProtocolSandbox repo and a StudyProtocols repo, and how the two are related is often unclear.
If I may, I’d like to propose the following process:
(Optional) Announce your interest in doing a study in the Researchers section of the forums. This would be a way to help find collaborators.
Create a study repository in your own Github space. For example, I’ve created an example study here. The most important things to start with is a README.md file, which displays when someone opens the repo, and can contain links for example to a Google docs containing the protocol under development. You can create the study repo from scratch, or by forking an existing repo, for example the Comparative Effectiveness Study Package Skeleton.
Once your study package is complete (and has been tested at at least two sites), we can import it as a Github Submodule into a repo of ‘vetted’ network studies. We could call this repo ‘NetworkStudies’ instead of the current ‘StudyProtocols’ to be more precise. The advantage of using the Submodule feature is that the complete history of the study development is preserved. The advantage of corralling all these studies in a single repo is that there’s a single place to find them, and you have a nice URL to point to in the methods section of your paper (which is best practice). To see how a Github Submodule would work, check out how @msuchard has imported the SkeletonComparativeEffectStudy repo into StudyProtocolSandbox.
The study can then also be advertised on the OHDSI website.
What to people think?