BIDS phenotype - clinical scores and electrophysiological measurements

Dear BIDS experts,

I have available several clinical scores/questionnaires and electrophysiological measurements for a BIDS dataset containing subjects with spinal cord compression.

Since I do not want to put all the scores and measurements directly into participants.tsv file, I am considering keeping them under phenotype/ directory:

└── phenotype
    ├── clinical_scores.tsv
    ├── clinical_scores.json
    ├── electrophysiological_measurements.tsv
    └── electrophysiological_measurements.json

Is it fine to combine multiple clinical scores/questionnaires (mJOA, Nurick, ASIA, etc.) within a single clinical_scores.tsv file? Or should they be split into individual TSV files, such as:

└── phenotype
    ├── mjoa_scale.tsv
    ├── nurick_scale.tsv
    ├── asia_scale.tsv


Great question!

At the moment BIDS does tell you how to organize this data but there is a whole BIDS extension that is work in progress to talk about several possibilities.

Have look and maybe let us know what you think.

In any case, in general I recommend people still try to follow the BIDS extension even if they are not final because they still give more structure than if you were “free styling” it.

Hope it helps

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Hi @valosekj, I’m so glad you asked! I’ve prepared my fair share of phenotypic data and I suggest you think about this from your end user’s perspective. While it may be convenient to you to put many surveys in one TSV with one data dictionary JSON each for the two “varieties”, I am a proponent of keeping them aggregated at the top level BIDS “root” folder’s phenotype/ subdirectory where they should be separated by their smaller unit, as you called them “the individual files”.

So I guess the short answer is “individual files” so an end user doesn’t have to sift through a large TSV and can instead go right to the phenotypic data they care about more directly by a more logical separation. It’s late here, but does this answer make sense?

@Remi-Gau thanks for mentioning the BEP!

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