Design Principles

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Goals of the Clinical Trial Ontology Initiative

The proposed CTO should:

(1) fully and faithfully capture the types of entities and relationships involved in clinical trials of any experimental design

(2) comprehend terms like: cohort, randomization, placebo, response, efficacy, control, protocol, null hypothesis, confidence interval, finding, biomarker, primary outcome, secondary outcome, intervention group, experimental design, etc., including also major relevant statistical terms and terms drawn from resources such as the CDISC glossary and all terms needed for the task of meta-analysis of clinical trials;

(3) organize these terms in a structured way, providing definitions and logical relations designed to enhance retrieval of, reasoning with, and integration of the data annotated in its terms.

(4) support trial bank interoperation

(5) form an integral part of the more comprehensive framework of the Ontology for Biomedical Investigations OBI, which itself forms part of the OBO Foundry

(6) draw on and seek maximal alignment with existing clinical trial ontologies, including the Epoch ontology used by the Immune Tolerance Network and the RCT Schema ontology used by the Trial Bank Project

(7) rest on a clear understanding of the relation between CTO and an epidemiology study ontology

(8) rest on a clear understanding of the relation between CTO and data-model-oriented initiatives such as CDISC and BRIDG.

(9) meet the requirements of the OBO Foundry, and in particular support an adequate treatment of the distinction between types (surgical intervention, tumor, human being) and instances (Jane's oophorectomy, John's tumor, Fritz)