Principles of the OpenClinical community

The CAFE principles

These principles are intended to govern the activities of OpenClinical and its members and sponsors. They are still under discussion and only indicative at this stage.

  • Community: to support the ability to create, document and share models of clinical expertise (e.g. rules, decisions, protocols and pathways, service interactions) and other kinds of knowledge ("content")
  • Accessibility: to promote: open access to this content for clinical and research use and open source to permit reuse of the content by others under licensing arrangements to be agreed by the community.
  • Fairness: to ensure fair returns on the investments and value created by all stakeholders (including content providers, content authors, users who agree to their use being recorded for quality management and research)
  • Empowerment: to empower authors to disseminate their expertise; organisations to promote best practice; clinicians to ensure they offer best care; providers to manage resource use; scientists to implement trials … .

In addition there is a specific governance principle which covers sponsors who make contributions in cash or in kind to the development of OpenClinical.net: the relationship between OC.net and sponsors will be one in which OC.net's reputation for independence must be maintained. The relationship will be governed by the general CAFÉ principles but in return for the sponsor's contribution it is expected that (in line with the fairness principle) the sponsor should be able to reasonably benefit from its support for OC.net, by using its sponsorship for marketing purposes or having early access to published content, for example. This relationship should not, however, be construed as an endorsement of the sponsor's business, products or services.