How to manage archetypes in incubators

@varntzen @siljelb
My colleagues and I at University Hospital Basel have recently developed a new archetype for the Revised Cardiac Risk Index. We are eager to make this archetype publicly available and integrate it into the Scores and Scales project. However, we have encountered some challenges in the process and would greatly appreciate your guidance and assistance.

First, we uploaded it to our private incubator. Then we tried to upload it through Quick Tasks > Propose new archetype but received an error ‘The archetype proposal could not be created. An archetype with the archetype id openEHR-EHR-OBSERVATION.revised_cardiac_risk_index.v0 already exists (same or different version number).’ And we didn’t find how to discard this archetype from our private incubator.

So the questions are:

  1. How can we effectively manage and remove existing archetypes from our private incubator to avoid conflicts during the upload process?
  2. How the process of moving of the archetype from private incubator to public one/project goes?

Thank you!

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Hi Olha,

We saw your new archetype in your incubator. Looks very good, we’re impressed if this is the first you’ve made!

Once it has been uploaded to an incubator, it isn’t possible to propose it. Makes sense, as it already is in the database, but “hidden”. CKM should probably feature a way of requesting the owner of a project or an CKA to import the archetype in an incubator to a project. Will ask Ocean for this.

Before we move the Revised Cardiac Risk Index to the Scores and scales project for you, it only needs some minor tweaks. Can we have a talk about it soon? Do you plan to send it for review? That would be wonderful. But then an editor will be responsible. Do you have someone to guide you?

Sorry for short reply, BTW. Let’s keep in touch.


Dear Vebjørn,

Thank you for getting back to me promptly. I’m glad to hear that you found our archetype good, especially considering it’s our first one.

Regarding the process of proposing the archetype after it’s been uploaded to our incubator, your explanation makes sense. It’s good to know that there might be future improvements in CKM to streamline this process.

I’m definitely open to discussing the minor tweaks needed before moving the archetype to the Scores and Scales project. Let’s schedule a meeting to go over these adjustments. Additionally, I’m fully on board with sending the archetype for review, and we’re excited about the opportunity to publish it.

Please let me know your availability for a meeting, and I’ll make sure to adjust my schedule accordingly. Thank you once again for your guidance and support. Looking forward to our continued collaboration.


Hi @Olha_Nikolaieva

There is a lot of history to this in CKM and the requirements have changed considerably over time with the community’s growth (and as we’ve learned more and more!).

The very original idea was to have “orphaned” archetypes that can be picked up by other “teams” (an early form of projects and incubators). Alongside, we’ve had the ability to move archetypes around by essentially pushing them from project/incubator to project/incubator until it is the right one. So essentially more geared towards a self-organising community. With now over 100 projects/incubators in the openEHR CKM this did not scale sufficiently well and this is no longer possible for that reason: you can only move archetypes between any projects/incubators where you are an editor of both the source and target project/incubator.

That said, having a mechanism to offer an archetype to another project/incubator makes sense and is a natural progression of the history of functionality described above. We will definitely consider supporting this in CKM.

That notwithstanding, I think there are two immediate ways of solving this (to a degree) - apart from direct communication of course:

  1. Delete the archetype and then propose it. This only make senses if you are not interested in the revision history of the archetype (including when it was first uploaded and by whom) and whatever else may have already been attached to the archetype (such as documentation and its classification) and it is not used by any template. (As for how to do this: Go to the Revision History of the archetype and click on the top-left Details button. It is meant to be the exception to completely delete an archetype, rather than just setting its status to rejected, that is why this functionality is a little bit hidden away.)
  2. Maybe @siljelb and @varntzen would consider setting up a special project or incubator where incubator editors can push their archetypes to and CKAs can pick them up. Incubator editors who are known to do this, just need to be an editor of such a project/incubator and can then move their advanced archetypes to that helper project. CKAs can then sort them into the best project in due course. The “best” target project may sometimes be obvious as probably in your case with scales and scores, but this may not always be that clear cut.
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Alternative 1 from Sebastian above, will work for now. This introduces no alternative way of proposing archetypes, and is ‘safe and clean’.

Alternative 2 needs more consideration. The risk is if that project isn’t properly monitored, archetypes will be forgotten. Not thought it through properly, I’m thinking of a way to reference or link an archetype into the Archetype Proposals by the editor of an incubator or project. This way it will be “only one way in”, and more easy to monitor and track. Dunno if it will work. Let’s continue pondering.