This FAQ page is dedicated to provide answers to the community. We will update this page on a regular basis.


What are Roche's intentions regarding Epidemium ?

With Epidemium, Roche and La Paillasse want to explore new paths to cancer research. As a leading actor in health innovation, Roche's ambition is to reinvent a new form of cancer epidemiology, making it a real tool for predictive and preventive medicine, for the benefit of the patient. The study of open data is an exciting field of research as it has never been explored before for cancer.


Who can participate to the Challenge4Cancer ?

The C4C is open to all, whatever your area of competence, your skills and your level of expertise. The best ideas will emerge from the heterogeneity of profiles. Beyond data scientists or researchers, we can point out a few fields of competence that are valuable in designing and developping projects: law, sociology, climatology, design, economy, etc. Everyone can join the Challenge4Cancer and make a difference!

How to register ?

To participate in the C4C, it is essential to register on the Epidemium platform (http://platform.epidemium.cc) in order to be identified as a participant and a member of a team. There are several possibilities to complete this:

When do registrations close ?

You can register until as late as the end of the Challenge4Cancer, that is to say until December 5th, 2017. Nevertheless, we advise you to register as early as possible in order to discover the synergies around the different projects and beneficiate from it. It is not forbidden to work on your side and disclose your project only at the end but you will definitely miss the strength of Epidemium: a community approach to science, based on sharing ideas, skills and results in order to open up new perspectives.

How do I sign up?

To register, it's simple: simply go to the platform and ( https://platform.epidemium.cc/) and follow the registration process.

I have an idea for a project but not a team yet, what can I do?

Sign up and submit your idea to the Epidemium community! The platform will help you find other participants who could be searching for a team to join, and who have the skills your need to carry out your project.

Depending on the feedbacks of the other participants and the validation of your idea, you will then be able to start the project.

I want to participate but I don't have a specific idea of a project, is it possible?

Yes, register now! The platform and the events are there to connect the participants. When you register, you have the opportunity to enter and rate your skills. By doing this, you feed the platform with information on you that it will use to emphasize for you users, projects and tasks that might interest you. You will then discover the projects already online. And if no tasks interest you yet, you can start by participating in open discussions about the ideas of other participants. You will surely find inspiration.

I have a project idea but I don't want or I don't think I am able to be the project holder or the team leader, what do I do?

Talk about it with other participants on the platform or in the facebook group. You will definitely find other people to help you.

How many people should there be in a team?

There is no constraint on the formation and composition of teams. The number of participants will likely evolve over time, with some people joining the project when others may leave the team for a variety of reasons.

I do not live in Paris, or in France, can I register anyway?

Of course! Wherever you are, the resources and information of the Challenges are available to you. For practical reasons, since the operating team is based in Paris, the majority of events (such as meet-ups) are held in Paris. But other events are organized elsewhere, thanks to our partners (like the cancéropole CLARA in Lyon), and we always produce a report and a video of the meet-ups that are freely accessible online. Most importantly, the work on projects is done online using the platform and the Wiki. You can therefore actively participate in a project and discuss with other participants, even if you are geographically on the other side of the world (online tools are designed for such a purpose).

How long will it take to participate?

Simply as long as you can or as long as your project needs it. Again, there is no constraint: you choose your level of involvement in the program either by actively participating in a project team, by contributing from time to time, or by helping other participants to refine their ideas by exchanging with them. No strain attached!

I want to participate but I cannot be involved until the end?

This is not a problem. You can chose your level of engagement and, for example, make only one-time contributions or help with some microtasks. If you do not have the opportunity to continue your project, you can also organize for others to take over and take the lead.

I don't know anything about data science or computing science, can I register anyway?

It is an even better reason for you to register! Although the Challenges of Epidemium are based on the understanding and analysis of ata, it is not required to have computer skills to be useful. Know-how in healthcare, medicine, human and social sciences, design, etc., are essential to meet the complexity of the challenges and also to build up pertinent assertions, hypothesis and results from the data. The heterogeneity of the skills used and the diversity of points of view will be key to develop the best projects. In addition, the Challenges are a good opportunity to discover a new field of competence and to start training on subjects that are yet totally unknown to you. The event and the community are here for that!

I don't know anything about research, biology or oncology, can I register anyway?

The same applies as to the previous question: the Challenges do not call for a particular competence but rather for multiple expertise. Other participants with whom you can build a team, experts of the ecosystem, committees, etc., will be able to guide you and complement your expertise. Therefore the events organized by Epidemium are conceived in order to give you some insights on medical question and the opportunity to discuss with the medical community.

How to contact the Epidemium ecosystem (experts or committee members)?

To contact the experts or the members of the scientific and independent ethics committees, several e-mail addresses are available (contact@epidemium.cc, ethique@epidemium.cc, methodologie@epidemium.cc). The Epidemium team, for practical reasons, is the intermediary and will pass your questions to the right person(s).

I do not want everyone to see my work?

Although we encourage public documentation of projects on the Wiki and their referencing on the platform, there is no obligation to do so. Nothing prevents you from working on your side and to reveal your project only at the end. Epidemium being an open science program, this last part however is mandatory. But by keeping your work secret, you will miss the strength of Epidemium: a community-based approach to science and a sharing of ideas and skills to open up new perspectives. Making a project public is simply a good way to confront it with external opinions and evaluate it as the Challenges progress. You will be able to find out who will join the project and identify the missing skills in order to upgrade your projects.


I would like to propose a new dataset, is it possible?

If you wish, you can submit a new data set. It only needs to be open to everyone so that everyone can benefit from it freely. If you submit a dataset to us, we will validate it first in the organizing team and send it to the scientific and independent ethics committees for their approval, as was the case for all the data sets proposed in the Challenge today.

Why are there no genomic data in the Challenge?

Given that the Challenge is dedicated to the epidemiological determinants of cancer, Epidemium uses population data. Of course, this would be possible within a genomic framework but the size of the genomic samples now available in open data makes it difficult to access omic epidemiology in large populations. But given the dynamics of Open Data in health, this could happen in the near future.


How do I create a project?

There are three locations that will get you there, first, on the Discover page click on “Or create my own project”. Second, in your Dashboard, click on “Create a project”. Finally, from anywhere, if you click your avatar you will have access to a menu where you can create a project. Or just follow this link: Create my project.

How do I register/Sign Up?

It’s easy and quick, just follow the 4 steps on the Register page. First you will be asked what skills you can use against cancer. Then your login informations, and finally some more information, like a bio or your avatar.

I can’t find my skill in the list, can I still add it?

The list of skills you are seeing is only a subset that we selected for your convenience. If you use the search bar you will be presented with more skills to choose from. If your skills is still not in that list, then contact us so that we can add it!

How are the results in the Discover sorted?

The Discover page results are generated using a smart algorithm. It takes into account your skills, along with your collaborators, the tasks and projects you are participating in. It then uses network properties to connect you with what we think you will like best.

What are all those tools?

In order to provide you with the best possible experience, we decided to setup multiple tools, first a chatting platform so that communication flows. Then, a document sharing tool so that you and your team can share different files. Further is a wiki in order to collaborate on texts, documentation, methods, resources and all you fancy. Finally, a code sharing platform is setup so that you can collaborate efficiently on code.

Do I need an account on all tools?

No, by registering on the platform our automated process takes care of the registration process for you. BUT you will still need to login on the different tools using the Login process unique to each.

What are the projects milestones tasks and results?

We decided on a hierarchy of objects. First, the project is the main container, it is central to all other objects. A milestone contains a list of task and has a deadline, this is to help you move swiftly and in an organized fashion through your projects. A task is a small unit of work, it is attached to a milestone such that task can be reassigned for future moments. Try to be as succinct as possible for each task, you can create as many as you want and it will be easier for your collaborator to perform a small non time intensive task. Finally, the results, those are the final object that are posted to answer a task. Once a result is posted it needs to be reviewed by the community, if you can review a result please do so, it will help validate other people’s science!