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

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  • Re: Bionet controversial topic #6: on the obligation toshareuseful research data

    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

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