Researchers' needs for resource discovery and collaboration tools: a qualitative investigation of translational scientists.

TitleResearchers' needs for resource discovery and collaboration tools: a qualitative investigation of translational scientists.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBhavnani, Suresh K., Warden Michael, Zheng Kai, Hill Mary, and Athey Brian D.
JournalJ Med Internet Res
Date Published2012
KeywordsFemale, Health Services Needs and Demand, Humans, Interdisciplinary Studies, Male, Research Personnel

BACKGROUND: A critical aspect of clinical and translational science (CTS) is interdisciplinary and collaborative research, which increasingly requires a wide range of computational and human resources. However, few studies have systematically analyzed such resource needs of CTS researchers.OBJECTIVE: To improve our understanding of CTS researchers' needs for computational and human resources in order to build useful and useable supporting informatics tools.METHODS: We conducted semistructured interviews of 30 CTS researchers from the University of Michigan, followed by qualitative analysis of the interview transcripts.RESULTS: The analysis identified three recurring themes: the need for the federation of information, the need to address information overload, and the need to humanize computing, including strong and well-informed views about the use of social networking tools for research collaboration. These findings helped us to narrow down the available design choices for assisting CTS researchers, and helped to identify potential deficiencies of well-known theoretical frameworks used to guide our study, with suggestions for future remedies.CONCLUSIONS: The user needs identified through the study, along with concrete design suggestions, provided key design, methodological, and theoretical insights, which are being used to guide the design and development of a CTS resource portal. The results and interview instrument should be useful to other institutions with Clinical and Translational Science Awards that face similar challenges related to helping CTS researchers make more effective use of computational and human resources.

Alternate JournalJ. Med. Internet Res.
PubMed ID22668750
PubMed Central IDPMC3415064
Grant ListUL1 TR000071 / TR / NCATS NIH HHS / United States
UL1RR024986 / RR / NCRR NIH HHS / United States
UL1RR029876 / RR / NCRR NIH HHS / United States