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About CMR

Who we are

The Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP), in the National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, initiated and maintains the CMR. The CMR utilizes MICA, an open source software application developed by Maelstrom Research, to create web portals for individual epidemiological studies or for study consortia.

EGRP fosters collaborations among cohorts to enable cohort investigators and researchers from the scientific community at large to pool the large quantity of data and biospecimens necessary to conduct a wide range of cancer studies; address important scientific questions in genomics, epidemiology, and translational sciences; and accelerate the pace of research in cancer etiology, prevention, and control.

How information is collected

Information in the CMR is provided for participating cohorts. Cohort principal investigators (PIs) provide metadata to a site administrator. The information consists of questionnaires, codebooks, data use manuals if available, and information regarding derived variables and outcomes. The site administrator formats and imports the metadata into the CMR.  Cohort PIs will have the opportunity to review metadata and request correction of the information.   Individual-level data are not included in the CMR.

PIs who are interested in having their cohort included in the CMR or want to use this tool to conduct their own harmonization project are encouraged to contact the CMR Helpdesk.

What the CMR is and its purpose

The CMR contains metadata from cohorts participating in data harmonization pooling projects. Pooling data from a number of cohorts allows increased sample sizes especially for rare cancers. The CMR allows researchers to search similar variables and view the metadata across cohorts. This facilitates finding commonalities and determining to what degree harmonization is possible. After a variable is harmonized, the harmonization mapping is documented in the CMR and viewable by all who have access.

The CMR is a restricted-use searchable database. In making available this information to participating investigators, the database allows for more precise exchange of information, facilitates pooling of data to limit the need to regenerate the work for future pooling projects, and to documents harmonization to make that information available to all cohorts involved. The information in the CMR will be particularly helpful for scientists interested in large-scale pooled analyses and meta-analyses, molecular and genomic epidemiology projects, and robust replication of previous results.

Citing the CMR in publications and presentations

In order to show and maintain support for the CMR, documenting its use through publications is extremely useful to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Please cite the CMR as follows: The Cohort Metadata Repository (CMR)-2016. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute.

You may also consider including a sentence in your manuscript that acknowledges use of the CMR. For example: Data harmonization was facilitated using information available in the Cohort Metadata Repository (CMR), developed by the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD.

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