OHDSI FYI: How To Start A New Working Group

There has been interest recently in developing new working groups within the OHDSI community, but many have wondered what it takes to actually start a new working group. This was addressed previously in an OHDSI forum post, but we wanted to share the steps with you again.

Definition of an OHDSI working group
An OHDSI working group represents a group of OHDSI collaborators who hold regular meetings with the purpose of developing shared solutions to tackle a common problem or address a knowledge/technology gap.

A group of collaborators aiming to complete a network research study can be considered a study working group and are encouraged to follow these guidelines.

Process of becoming an OHDSI working group

  1. Post a call for collaboration on the OHDSI forums to gauge community interest. The forum post should:
    • Clearly outline the problem/existing knowledge gap you wish to address
    • Describe working group aims, objectives and intended deliverables
  2. If sufficient interest exists, select a working group lead who will be responsible for the overall governance and organization of the working group. Leadership of a working group can change at any time, as working groups are encouraged to re-assess leadership annually.
  3. Determine a regular meeting schedule (once a week, every other week or monthly)
  4. An up-to-date meeting scheduleCreate an OHDSI wiki page for your working group. All working group wiki pages must include:
    • The aims of objectives of the working group
    • All information needed to join working group meetings (webex URL, dial-in numbers, etc)
  5. Announce the formation of the working group on an OHDSI call and on forums.
  6. Keep Maura updated on the working group meeting schedule so she can post meeting announcements in the weekly OHDSI digest.

All OHDSI working groups must adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. The aims and objectives of the working group must align with OHDSI’s mission, vision and values.
    • If the working group ceases to have regular meetings they must notify the coordinating center and retire their wiki page
  2. All working groups must meet regularly to discuss making progress towards their intended goals.
  3. All working groups’ materials and documents must be openly accessible on the OHDSI wiki.
  4. All information about work group meetings must be kept up-to-date on the OHDSI wiki. This includes meeting times and URLs to join meetings.
  5. All working group activities must be inclusive and open to all who wish to participate.
  6. All working groups are responsible for their own governance and organization.
  7. All working groups are responsible for keeping the OHDSI community updated on their progress via the OHDSI forums and OHDSI community meetings.
  8. If a working group completes its aims, they must notify the coordinating center.
  9. The OHDSI coordinating center reserves the right to disband the workgroup if their activities do not align with OHDSI’s mission.