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Dissemination and continuous improvement of a CTSA-based software platform, SPARCRequest©, using an open source governance model.

Authors
  • He, Wenjun1
  • Sampson, Royce2
  • Obeid, Jihad3
  • Hutson, Kyle1
  • Knosp, Boyd M4
  • LaSalle, Bernard A5
  • Melancon, Brian6
  • McGhee, Kimberly1
  • Lenert, Leslie A3
  • Brady, Kathleen2
  • 1 Department of Medicine, South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Institute, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.
  • 2 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.
  • 3 Biomedical Informatics Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA.
  • 4 Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.
  • 5 Department of Biomedical Informatics, Center for Clinical and Translational Science, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
  • 6 Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of clinical and translational science
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2019
Volume
3
Issue
5
Pages
227–233
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1017/cts.2019.403
PMID: 31660247
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

SPARCRequest© (Services, Pricing, & Application for Research Centers) is a web-based research management system that provides a modular and adaptable "electronic storefront" for research-related services. Developed by the South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Institute at the Medical University of South Carolina, it was released as open source (OS) code in 2014. The adoption of SPARCRequest© accelerated in 2016, when, to ensure responsiveness to the needs of partners, its governance also became open. This governance model enables OS partners to suggest and prioritize features for new releases. As a result, the software code has become more modularized and can be easily customized to meet the diverse needs of adopting hubs. This article describes innovative aspects of the OS governance model, including a multi-institutional committee structure to set strategic vision, make operational decisions, and develop technical solutions; a virtual roadmap that ensures transparency and aligns adopters with release-based goals; and a business process model that provides a robust voting mechanism for prioritizing new features while also enabling fast-paced bug fixes. OS software evolves best in open governance environments. OS governance has made SPARCRequest© more responsive to user needs, attracted more adopters, and increased the proportion of code contributed by adopters. © The Association for Clinical and Translational Science 2019.

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