Archive (2016–2006)

Memorandum “Open Metadata”

Journal: Methods of Information in Medicine
Subtitle: A journal stressing, for more than 50 years, the methodology and scientific fundamentals of organizing, representing and analyzing data, information and knowledge in biomedicine and health care
ISSN: 0026-1270
Issue: 2015 (Vol. 54): Issue 4 2015
Pages: 376-378
Ahead of Print: 2015-06-25

Memorandum “Open Metadata”

Open Access to Documentation Forms and Item Catalogs in Healthcare

White Paper

M. Dugas (1), K.-H. Jöckel (2), T. Friede (3), O. Gefeller (4), M. Kieser (5), M. Marschollek (6), E. Ammenwerth (7), R. Röhrig (8), P. Knaup-Gregori (5), H.-U. Prokosch (4)

(1) Institute of Medical Informatics, University of Münster, Münster, Germany; (2) Institute of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany; (3) Department of Medical Statistics, University Medical Center Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany; (4) Department of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany; (5) Institute of Medical Biometry and Informatics, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; (6) Peter L. Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics, University of Braunschweig – Institute of Technology and Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany; (7) Institute of Biomedical Informatics, UMIT – University of Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Hall in Tirol, Austria; (8) Department for Medical Informatics, Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg, Germany


Information Systems, Open metadata, open access, case report forms, documentation forms, item catalogs


At present, most documentation forms and item catalogs in healthcare are not accessible to the public. This applies to assessment forms of routine patient care as well as case report forms (CRFs) of clinical and epidemiological studies. On behalf of the German chairs for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology six recommendations to developers and users of documentation forms in healthcare were developed. Open access to medical documentation forms could substantially improve information systems in healthcare and medical research networks. Therefore these forms should be made available to the scientific community, their use should not be unduly restricted, they should be published in a sustainable way using international standards and sources of documentation forms should be referenced in scientific publications.

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