View Full Version : Re: Bionet controversial topic #6: on the obligation toshareuseful research data

Dr. Chris Kirtley
04-12-2002, 02:19 AM
Dear all,

I agree with both Frank and Alberto's points, but I am still in favor of

It seems to me that the revelations that Alberto speaks of have only
come to light by the technique of sharing the data. It is only by
comparing between labs that we can find out the typical ranges of errors
and variability. I could give several examples (but might offend, so I
won't!) of people who had been collecting data wrongly and who only
realised this after seeing other people's data.

Like most tools, there is nothing intrinsic in data-sharing that is bad,
it is only (conceivably) the use to which the data is put.

Lastly, I wonder how many gait researchers around the world have spent
several weeks or months "reinventing the wheel" by collecting normative
data. Of course, they no doubt learnt a lot by doing so, but isn't it a
dreadful waste of time and resources to keep all this data on a myriad
of separate PCs when it could usefully be gathered together into a
valuable database?

If you look at some of the examples on the CGA site, you will
immediately note some obvious errors. But at least these errors are now
openly available for everyone to comment on - e.g. knee varus/valgus
artefacts. Previously, they were on the PC of the scientist who
collected them, who was quite oblivious of the errors and the erroneous
technique that generated them. For most people, it is only by sharing
and comparing that we improve ourselves.

Dr. Chris Kirtley MD PhD
Associate Professor
HomeCare Technologies for the 21st Century (Whitaker Foundation)
NIDRR Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on TeleRehabilitation
Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, Pangborn 105B
Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave NE
Washington, DC 20064
Tel. 202-319-5440, fax 202-319-4287
Email: kirtley@cua.edu

Clinical Gait Analysis: http://guardian.curtin.edu.au/cga
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