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Standardization and the ISB

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  • Standardization and the ISB

    Dear Biomch-L readers:

    It has been rewarding to see the discussion over the last two weeks
    regarding the ISB Recommendations for Standardization in the Reporting=
    Kinematic Data. This shows that there is a continued interest in=
    area, which is why the ISB has moved forward with this project. =
    The vigor
    of the responses that this topic seems to engender may come as a=
    to some new readers, but I can assure you that this is indeed "par=
    for the
    course". Any venture into the area of standardization is definitely=
    for the faint-hearted!

    The Recommendation (J. Biomech pp 1257-1260, October 1995) evolved=
    many versions, and has been developed based on consideration and=
    from members of the ISB and from readers of this list. The first=
    airing of the proposed recommendation was at the XIIIth Congress=
    of the
    International Society of Biomechanics, December 9-13, 1991, in Perth,
    Australia. On behalf of the committee, I presented an outline of=
    proposed recommendation to approximately 300 ISB members. A lively
    discussion ensued and the comments were incorporated into Draft version=
    which was reproduced in the February/March ISB Newsletter #45. BIOMCH-L
    readers may want to consult the BIOMCH-L archives for May 4, 1992,=
    the draft was also posted to all subscribers. Comment was invited=
    and a
    summary of the comments received was published in the ISB Newsletter=
    Aug/Sept 1992. After two further drafts, the recently published
    Recommendation emerged. Those of you who missed the earlier posting=
    find this a good reason (one of many!) to join the ISB in order to=
    abreast of these and other current issues.

    It is worth noting that a number of other groups such as the Scoliosis
    Society, the CAMARC group, the Clinical Gait Analysis Group are also
    working on standards and ISB maintains working relationships with=
    all of
    these groups. There is also a listing under "Standardization" on=
    Biomechanics Home Page (
    which at present points only to ISO. The soon to be released ISB=
    home page
    will also contain complete details of existing, proposed, and in=
    Recommendations and Standards from the ISB.

    The debate in the last two weeks has reiterated some of the issues,=
    reinforced some of the motivations, that led to the pursuit of a=
    form of reporting that is specific to Biomechanics:

    =80 Within our own field, many different conventions are used for=
    kinematic information so that the reader of each paper has to start=
    working out which were used by the author (and perhaps holding graphs
    upside down or in a mirror!)

    =80 Outside our field, we find that there is indeed a number of different
    systems for describing the SAME thing. Each of the various sub-disciplines
    consider their method to be "standard". =20

    =80 We all tend to be very resistant to change from what we have=
    used in the
    past as "standard".

    =80 We have a tendency, if doing more complex analysis, to suggest=
    that the
    needs of those doing less complex analysis are less important.

    =46rom these reasons, the Recommendation was born. A key phrase=
    in the title
    of the Recommendation is "for the reporting of". The notion here=
    is that
    no one should have to use a system of computation that they are not
    comfortable with or simply do not like. However, once the results=
    are to
    be communicated to others, then there is a real need for standardization.=
    Converting to the ISB axis system could be seen as applying a filter.=
    input of the filter is specific to each user while the output is
    understandable to all. This goes not just for the direction of the
    coordinate axes, but also for such things as the conventions used=
    flexion/extension etc.

    The ISB exists for its members, and standardization is something=
    members have asked us to pursue. No recommendation is cast in stone=
    and we
    will always move in a direction that the majority of our almost 1000
    members are comfortable with. We welcome input from all quarters=
    but we
    ask you to realize that any decision will leave in its wake a significant
    number of disaffected individuals who simply like the way they are=
    things at present.=20

    As the debate continues, those of you who feel so inclined might=
    try using
    the ISB conventions in reporting your data. =20

    Peter R. Cavanagh
    ISB President