The Trade Secret Taboo: Open Science Methods are Required to Improve Prediction Models in Sports Medicine and Performance.
Bullock GS., Ward P., Impellizzeri FM., Kluzek S., Hughes T., Dhiman P., Riley RD., Collins GS.
Clinical prediction models in sports medicine that utilize regression or machine learning techniques have become more widely published, used, and disseminated. However, these models are typically characterized by poor methodology and incomplete reporting, and an inadequate evaluation of performance, leading to unreliable predictions and weak clinical utility within their intended sport population. Before implementation in practice, models require a thorough evaluation. Strong replicable methods and transparency reporting allow practitioners and researchers to make independent judgments as to the model's validity, performance, clinical usefulness, and confidence it will do no harm. However, this is not reflected in the sports medicine literature. As shown in a recent systematic review of models for predicting sports injury models, most were typically characterized by poor methodology, incomplete reporting, and inadequate performance evaluation. Because of constraints imposed by data from individual teams, the development of accurate, reliable, and useful models is highly reliant on external validation. However, a barrier to collaboration is a desire to maintain a competitive advantage; a team's proprietary information is often perceived as high value, and so these 'trade secrets' are frequently guarded. These 'trade secrets' also apply to commercially available models, as developers are unwilling to share proprietary (and potentially profitable) development and validation information. In this Current Opinion, we: (1) argue that open science is essential for improving sport prediction models and (2) critically examine sport prediction models for open science practices.