Epidemiological research is worthless without verifiable source data. Much of this data is common to the clinical environment. Currently, substantial resources are allocated to data management bureaucracies in attempts to ensure data accuracy. These bureaucracies developed in the era of paper records, but in the present health information climate, the ability to share electronic data presents exciting possibilities, while placing new responsibilities on the gatherers of information and challenging them to develop new work flow paradigms. Radiation oncologists have a pivotal role to play in the processing of oncological data for future epidemiological research because of the substantial overlap in data requirements.