J Am Med Inform Assoc 19:e36-e42 doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2012-000968
  • Perspective
  • FOCUS on clinical research informatics

Clinical research informatics: a conceptual perspective

Open Access
  1. Chunhua Weng2
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado, USA
  2. 2Department of Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michael G Kahn, c/o Children's Hospital Colorado, 13123 East 16th Avenue, B400, Aurora, CO 80045, USA; michael.kahn{at}
  • Received 23 March 2012
  • Accepted 26 March 2012
  • Published Online First 20 April 2012


Clinical research informatics is the rapidly evolving sub-discipline within biomedical informatics that focuses on developing new informatics theories, tools, and solutions to accelerate the full translational continuum: basic research to clinical trials (T1), clinical trials to academic health center practice (T2), diffusion and implementation to community practice (T3), and ‘real world’ outcomes (T4). We present a conceptual model based on an informatics-enabled clinical research workflow, integration across heterogeneous data sources, and core informatics tools and platforms. We use this conceptual model to highlight 18 new articles in the JAMIA special issue on clinical research informatics.


  • Funding Dr Kahn was supported in part by NIH/NCRR Colorado CTSI Grant Number UL1 RR025780 and AHRQ R01HS019908 (Scalable Architecture for Federated Translational Inquiries Network) and AHRQ R21 HS19726-01A. The contents are the authors' sole responsibility and do not necessarily represent official NIH views. Dr Weng was support by grants R01LM009886 and R01LM010815 from the National Library of Medicine, grant UL1RR024156 from the National Center for Research Resources, and AHRQ grant R01HS019853.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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