Celebrating Collaboration

Collaboration at EDGE Clinical Research

Trying to summarise the changes that have occurred during the past 12 months within the Clinical Research Networks with which we work so closely is too big a task for one evenings work and I’d only be scratching the surface which wouldn’t really do it justice. Therefore I’m going to concentrate on an aspect that has almost come as an unintended side effect.

The procurement and implementation of LPMS systems across England has been challenging, time consuming and to some very frustrating. To others the provision of a system to manage their research portfolio on has been a blessing, allowing them to reduce the number of onerous spread sheets that contain silos of information and combine this all into one place.

This implementation of a single system across an entire network geography has created an opportunity for people to come together and discuss the issues they are having with their research management. R&D departments especially are sharing more and more advice and support with each other and through this are helping create new standards and ways of working that will drive forward research management. These communications networks that have formed amongst research staff haven’t been forced, they haven’t been the result of a new policy or countrywide attempt to make people communicate more. They have come as a result of people willing to share their hard work with others, and people willing to pick up the phone and ask how someone else has done it.

There is still a long way to go and we really have only skimmed the surface of what can be achieved via collaborative working like we have seen, but what we have seen so far has been more than anyone expected. Who’d have thought databases could have such a social effect on people!

By Dave Osler (EDGE Knowledge Officer)

EDGE users and the importance of ORCID identification

EDGE ORCID identification

The launch of ORCID in 2012 has provided unique benefits to both individual researchers and their institutions worldwide. Millions of researchers and clinicians at various institutions around the world currently reap the benefits of having an ORCID ID. Here at EDGE HQ, we have fully embraced ORCID IDs in our line of work, and have recently begun a quest to urge all of our users to obtain one as soon as possible. In this blog post, we highlight what an ORCID ID is, and why it is crucial for our users.

 What is ORCID?

 ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a global, free-to-use registry that provides research staff with unique persistent identifiers (ORCID IDs). Most immediately, ORCID makes a fundamental difference to a researcher’s ability to gain full credit for their work as they track, evaluate, and publish research.

 What does ORCID do?

 With millions of researchers worldwide, it is inevitable that many of these will share the same name. Adding to this confusion, individuals may change their name at some point during their careers (for example, after one gets married), which may result in different variations of the same name. Therefore, it seems obvious that a researcher’s name is simply not enough to identify an author of a paper or a dataset uploaded to a research repository. However, a unique identifier – as provided by an ORCID ID – works to ensure that links can be made accurately and efficiently irrespective of repeated names and name variations. As a result, James Smith from a research facility in Wessex can be uniquely identified as the author of his recent research paper published in Nature.

 ORCID IDs are now embedded in most workflows, such as manuscript submission or grant application processes. As such, it has become a vital part of the metadata associated with research outputs, and ultimately reduces administrative burden for researchers. Universities and research facilities are encouraged to note the take-up of ORCID IDs due to their power to recognise researchers irrespective of who and where they are in the globe.

 How does ORCID ID relate to EDGE?

 As you know, an ORCID ID solves the name ambiguity problem in research and allows researchers to easily and uniquely attach their identity to research objects. In relation to EDGE, objects include experiments and uploaded datasets. As such, we have recently implemented ORCID IDs as part of our identification process, whereby we will now ask our users to provide their unique ORCID ID when consulting with our help team. Due to the volume of EDGE users in the UK (with hundreds of the same names being used across various institutions), we have found that asking users to provide an ORCID ID speeds up the identification process and helps us deliver the assistance that our users need quickly and more efficiently.

Please get your unique ORCID ID code by clicking the link below. It only takes 30 seconds! Then, assign it to your profile on the EDGE database.



EDGE at the R&D Forum

EDGE at the R&D forum 2016

We took a shining role as Premier Sponsor at this year’s R&D Forum with our brand appearing in the delegate guides, onscreen adverts and at the front of the conference room throughout the 2 day event. If that wasn’t enough we also had a giant inflatable Luna pod used as our exhibition structure, which definitely caught the eye of every conference attendee. It was safe to say EDGE was everywhere, and what a success it was!

The event took place at the Holiday Inn, Stradford-upon-Avon (23rd-24th May) and was for those involved in leading, supporting, managing and delivering research. With over 500 people attending each year we were very excited to be part of such a big National event. On registration to the forum each attendee received an EDGE notebook and stylus pen ready for the day. With our stand in prime position inside the main conference room it meant we could not be missed (especially with our gleaming pod!) The Luna pod not only worked as a great attraction but allowed us to house two computer screens with tables and chairs. This worked fantastically when showing visitors demos of the EDGE system.

Each person who came to our stand was keen to take some of our fabulous freebies which included EDGE branded pens, mints, mugs and of course the EDGE branded bag (also known as the #swagbag on Twitter!) For the majority of the two days all five members of the EDGE Knowledge team were completely run off their feet with demoing, taking photos, videoing, answering EDGE related questions and handing out our merchandise.

The networking continued at the Gala dinner which we were also the sponsors of. You could find our EDGE logo presented on the dinner tickets as well as on the food menus which was another great promotional aspect for us. As sponsor we provided each table with some EDGE branded mint chocolates which came out with the tea and coffee (always a good way to finish any dinner!)

At the end of day two the team came away feeling positive and had each enjoyed their time at the forum. There were fantastic comments said about EDGE and the feedback received over the two days was discussed on return to the office. Overall, it was a real success and we look forward to next year!



New Space, New Staff

Team members at EDGE

New Space

Here at EDGE we have recently moved from our previous basement location to a much more lighter, brighter and bigger space. Now we have a great working area including a large meeting space for those Monday morning meetings, a smaller meeting room which is great for teleconferences and training sessions, as well as separate offices for both our Knowledge and Development team.

New Staff- Knowledge

As we moved into our new space this May we also had new staff members join. We have expanded the knowledge team with a new Knowledge officer and three new Knowledge Support Analysts. Our new Knowledge Officer is Nicky Morris, who has come from a computer software company where she worked as a project manager. From her previous experience Nicky brings fantastic skills and knowledge of IT to our team. 

The first of the Knowledge Support Analyst’s is Joshua Lovejoy who previously worked as a Research Governance Officer and lead EDGE admin in a busy R&D department. Second, we have Beth Caruana who also comes from an R&D background as well as having experience in Clinical Trials within pharmacy. And last, but not least we have Pat Oxford who not long ago graduated and gained a degree in Molecular Biology and is already proving himself to be a bit of a computer whiz.

New Staff- Development

We have also recently gained a new member to the development team, Matt Andrews. Matt worked as a Test Analyst for a company called Denplan before landing a job in the capital of the UK as a QA Analyst. Here at EDGE Matt is filling the new role of Test Lead.

New Staff– Delivery

We also have Baljinder (Bal) Gill who is also filling a new post as Head of Delivery and Operations. Previously, Bal worked as a Strategy and Business planning manager and has extensive sales and marketing experience.

Steph & Kenny

We currently have Steph, our intern and Kenny a research fellow currently working with us.

Steph is currently assisting on a range of projects in both the Clinical Informatics Research Unit and Institute for Life Sciences at the University of Southampton, where she completed her BSc Psychology degree earlier this year. The main project that Steph is working on surrounds the research, development and testing of a healthcare app that will assist NHS medical staff in their treatment of patients and improve patient experience. At the end of her internship Steph is heading off to Sri Lanka for 3 months to volunteer in hospitals, schools, and rehabilitation centres where she will put her psychology background to good use by providing much needed support to the local mental health services. In the long term, Steph is looking forward to completing a Masters in Neuropsychology in order to pursue a career in research.

Kenny is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton. He completed his Ph.D. in Psychology in March 2015 and is currently working on a research project here at EDGE. Kenny is investigating whether psychological characteristics of cancer patients predict treatment satisfaction and quality of life in patients undergoing treatment. He is also exploring how likely psychological characteristics influence additional use of health services throughout treatment. He is working towards validating a psychosocial screening tool which alerts to healthcare professionals which patients are potentially “at risk” of experiencing difficulties throughout their treatment and, thus, may need additional help and support.

Steph and Kenny at EDGE

EDGE Attends Annual R&D Forum 2015

David Osler EDGE R&D Forum 2015

James Batchelor, Director of CIRU, and EDGE Knowledge Officer, Dave Osler, attended the 2015 Annual R&D Forum. This took place at the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel on the 5th and 6th May 2015. The event was for everyone who is involved in the planning, managing and delivering of R&D in the NHS.

The forum was extremely informative and acted as a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and catch up with a number of R&D professionals from across the UK including Research Nurses, R&D Managers and Research Governance Officers.

For more information about the event, including slides from the presenters please visit: www.annualrdforum.org.uk