Information about Collaborative Advantage Research Database (CARD)

Collaborative Advantage Research Database (CARD)

information Short summary of CARD
  • CARD is a "dynamic" project database meaning that you can always go back and update any information.
  • A simple form only collecting some basic information.
  • Only one registration needed even if many organisations are involved.
  • CARD can be used by anyone without any associated costs.
  • CARD offers every project a free optional secure cloud based project log book accessible over the Internet. Access levels to different parts of the log book can be set individually for each member of the project team.
  • Automatic reminder if no update in 6 months asking if the project is still active. Ignoring these reminders flagg the desriptions of this project as not being being updated or confirmed. (There is no need to update or confirm completed projects.)
  • A list updated in real time presenting relevant projects can easily be created upon request. Examples:
a) Projects related to a specific organisation (or part of organisation)
b) Projects relevant for a specific target population (such as "Rural Population")
c) Projects touching base on a specific topic (anything where there is a MeSH term)
These tailored lists can be presented as a web page or pushed as an RSS feed into another organisations web site or to an RSS reader in a mobile phone.

Increased collaboration in research often provides an advantage and promotes success. There are many ways to collaborate in research such as researchers collaborating over organisational boundaries, collaboration in the process of ethics and research governance and in advising the general public and researchers about current projects. This web page focus on a database collating research projects. Click on the relevant tabs below to read more. The left tab is shown by default. To read about match-making (the process before a research project get air under its wings) please go to our match-making information.

How to describe a project

  1. Ensure you have a personal profile in this system. This is easy to create if you don't have one (simply click Log in / Register).
  2. Login
  3. Click on the menu My pages, then on the sub menu My projects (the latter is only visible after login). This is also where you later find your projects if you want to edit any of them.
  4. Follow the instructions given on the My projects page. Decide if you want to use the project log book. Correctly adding all involved work places is a very important part. 
information More information about adding workplaces

Correctly adding all involved work places is very important since this may guide where your project is presented.  Example of this is:

Please add all work places involved including those only involved in data collection.

  1. When editing your registration click the button "Add/Edit workplace". This bring you to an overview of added workplaces (and this will be empty if none are added).
  2. Click the button "Add workplace" to add a new workplace. (You can press "Edit" or "Delete" for work places you already added previously.)
  3. Always start with chosing country.
  4. You can toggle between "Search workplace" (default) or "Select workplace" to find the work place you are looking for. Start with search and if this does not work use "Select workplace" where you drill down in the tree structure. If your work place does not exist in the database please drill down as far as you can in the tree structure and chose the most appropriate alternative.
  5. When you have selected a workplace state the role of this work place.
  6. Repeat the above to add more work places.

You may want to add organisations or workplaces for networking purposes even if they are not directly involved in your project. An example of this is the biannual conference ISTAR trying to initiate research collaboration. For this purpose please state that the role of this "workplace" is: "This workplace is not directly involved but would like to list your project for information and networking purposes".

Keeping the database updated

This database differs between current and completed projects. A project can always be edited. A current project is where some activity remains such as final details of publications or reports. Once a project is completed we want to keep the description as a historic record of past projects. Your project should be tagged as completed once all final reporting is finished and nothing more will be done. To tag your project as completed:

  1. Login
  2. Click on the menu My pages, then on the sub menu My projects (the latter is only visible after login). This is where you later find your projects
  3. Go to editing / revising the description (by clicking on its ID number and then on the button Edit).
  4. In the question about "Progress report" choose one of the following options: "Completed project - No more reporting or other activities" or "Aborted project - Aborted before data collection commenced" or "Aborted project - Aborted after data collection commenced".
  5. State an end date in the box Date completed (use the date format YYYY-MM-DD).
  6. Click on Proofread and publish.
  7. Proof read and finally click the button Publish.

This system will automatically send you an e-mail if you have not updated your description within the last six months. The e-mail contains instructions for how to update or verify the description. The small traffic light in the lower right corner will also change from green to orange. The traffic light will switch to red if you ignore three consecutive e-mails (send approximately once a month). A red light indicates to readers that you are not taking responsibility for your description. These e-mail reminders will stop once your project is tagged as completed (see above).

information Who should do the registration of a project?

The principal investigator should register the project here. Reasons for this are:

  • The person doing the registration will be presented to the general public as the person responsible for this research.
  • The template to register a project requires that you provide a very short title and a very short summary for the general public. This, and a few other questions in the template, usually requires the input from the principal researcher.
  • Other researchers may use the project database to look for potential collaborators. This might be difficult if the wrong person is presented as the responsible researcher.
We have strived to make the template as short as possible to enable researchers themselves to do the registration.

Why a project dabatase and why this one?

  • Questions and answers may guide us Publication databases are the best way to find completed projects but it is slightly more difficult to find yet unpublished research. A database of current projects is a must if you want to reduce the risk of putting resources into duplicating research that is already going on somewhere.
  • The Australian Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) is Commonwealth legislation that allows the general public to seek access to information held by any Commonwealth agency or authority. The coverage of the Act was in 2010 extended to documents held by contracted service providers that are delivering services to the public on behalf of Australian Government agencies. A reasonable interpretation is that current research conducted by universities and health services reimbursed by any Commonwealth agency or authority is embraced by this legislation. The recommendation is to be proactive and publish information early rather than waiting for formal requests of information. A project database easily accessable on the Internet by the general public makes it easier to fulfill this legal requirement. It is in the end always the general population that funds all research. Hence, on top of the legal argument is also a moral duty to provide some information to the general public about what we do with their money.
  • Feeling informed about research seems to correlate with positive attitudes towards researchers and greater trust in researchers (See Public attitudes to science 2011). However, many people feel they are not informed enough about ongoing research (See Public attitudes to science 2011). 86% of the Australian population seems to be somewhat or very interested in health and medical research (See Opinion poll about research). This suggests that the population would be rather receptive if we present the information in an accepptable way. This project database uses several different techniques to push information to the general public such as TV screens (it looks much better in reality than in this example), RSS feed and web pages.
  • According to paragraph 2.3.12 in the Australian national statement on ethical conduct in human research each organisation need to have a publicly available list and a summary description of research projects for which individual consent has been waived under paragraph 2.3.9 and 2.3.10. This is a common situation when a study uses retrospective reviews of medical charts. This project database automatically presents these on a list of current projects where a waiver of individual consent is sought or granted from the relevant human research ethics committee.
  • An easily accessible project database combining projects from Queensland health, the university and other health care institutions with functions to push news (such as RSS) is a useful tool to reach journalists, further disseminating important information.
  • A database of current projects with advanced search tools such as searching for projects engaging in a specific topic, or combination of topics, is a splendid tool for researchers to find possible collaborators.
  • Senior researchers can let their junior researchers register the projects they are responsible for. If they link in their senior researchers as advisors this particular project database produces a nice summary for the advisors where they easily can see a list of projects they are advising. This is very handy if the junior researcher also uses the electronic log book that comes with each registration in this project database. This is one simple method of enabling all advisors and co-workers to be kept in the loop irrespective of their geographical location (especially usefull if the team is spread out geographically).

Why not use other existing databases?

There are several project databases relevant for researchers. However, many databases are bound to one organisation, may it be a health care service provider or a University. It is common that project databases may only be open for primary health care or indigenous related projects. Projects crossing boundaries may have to be registered multiple times in separate databases. CARD is open for all organisations and topics.

CARD has a work place database. Only one registration is needed and it will be linked to all involved organisations. This solution is ideal to promote collaboration and transparency. CARD is intended to be a one stop shop for finding any current research.

The Australian Freedom of information act from 1982 recommends a collaborative approach requiring a team effort - within agencies and across government. The basic idea in the freedom of information act is collaboration over boundaries to facilitate access to information. Hence, we need one single project database embracing all bio-medicine or health care related projects from publicly run health care, Universities and privately run health care.

The CARD project database is offered for free. CARD also offers one electronic log book with each registration to enable easy access to current activities for all participants in the research team.

Practical advice

information For the general public

You are one of the persons ultimately funding all research in Australia. Hence, you are a very important person (VIP) to us. We have prepared several ways for you to find relevant information:

information For journalists

You are obviously interested in finding new interesting projects of potentially public interest. We have prepared two ways for you to achieve this:

  • Our search function where you can test different search strategies or see prepared selections of projects (the latter is found under Customized search).
  • We have prepared several different RSS feed that you can use with your favourite RSS reader.
information For advisors

This project database contains smart functions to facilitate your life as an advisor for Honours students, Masters or PhD students and junior researchers. You can keep track of all projects and what is going on with them. First it requires that you ask the persons you supervise to register their projects in this database and that they link in you as an advisor/tutor. Once that is done:

  1. Login to this website. If you have not created a personal profile previously then you need to do that to be able to login.
  2. After login click on the menu item My stuff. Then click on the appropriate sub-menu (only visible after login). In this situation click on the sub-menu Me as advisor. This will take you to a summary of everything where you are linked in as an advisor. You can access more detailed information from there.
All persons in the research team will easily keep up to date if the persons you supervise use the electronic log book.
information For junior or senior principal investigators

Follow instructions here to register your project. Using the electronic log book helps you to remember what has been agreed upon. It also helps your advisors and co-investigators to read what you are up to.

To find other current projects of potential interest to you use our search function where you can test different search strategies.

This page is used by more portals using Researchweb.  


Information about Collaborative Advantage Research Database (CARD), from James Cook University