We have developed a conforming site strategy that enables any laboratory to communicate with ICBM Standards, protocols, and services have been developed that address the quality and interoperability of data, tools, and analysis procedures. By utilizing these, a conforming site can acquire data that is compatible with other ICBM data, products (e.g., atlases), data bases, analysis tools and procedures. Thus, conforming sites not only gain conformity with ICBM but also with other non-ICBM sites which use these same tools and procedures.
Data Entry Protocols & Procedures
The data entry aspect of the CSS has been designed along two principles: make data entry easy and make it accurate. To make data entry easy, the online forms have been designed to resemble as much as possible the paper forms that researchers are used to working with. Data entry in this environment is extremely fast, and typically takes only a few minutes for even the longest measures. Most behavioral tasks can be administered with the multi-lingual, computer-based NeuroCog instrument and, therefore, require no manual data entry.
To make data entry accurate, the online forms provide several basic levels of quality control. They limit the entry options of nearly every field, making unreasonable values impossible to enter. They provide immediate feedback to the data entered, who can easily check any and all of their entries. Finally, trained personnel will explicitly verify a randomly selected subset of the data entered against paper originals.
Data Transfer Protocols & Procedures
For the three different data types, the procedures are summarized as follows:
Non-Automated, Standardized Behavioral Tests: Tests are administered to the subjects using standard, paper-and-pencil test forms. The data contained on these forms are to be entered into the database using a data entry interface provided by CSS, which can be accessed over the Internet.
Computerized Tests: Computerized tests are administered using the battery incorporated in NeuroCog. The data generated by these instruments are initially stored in the internal representation of the NeuroCog software package. Following test administration, the test results are to be manually `exported' to a format usable for transfer to the database. Each site can be configured with an upload mechanism that automatically transfers the exported data to the database.
Imaging: Scans are acquired at the MRI or PET consoles and from there `pushed' to the ICBM central site (UCLA) using DICOM transfer.