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Research Data Management System

Introduction

The CareSearch Research Data Management System has been developed to support research work within palliative care by providing access to a tool that:

  • Enables the online design of data collection forms and questionnaires
  • Allows for web-based and email-based form completion
  • Enables data entry from multiple sites with a single co-ordinating site
  • Provides for basic reporting of results with features such as percentages, graphs, and tables
  • Allows export of data to other programs such as Excel, Access or SPSS.

With a user-friendly interface, the tool will encourage beginning researchers as well as supporting larger multi-site research activities. 

A sample survey is available for viewing. Once you have completed the survey you will return to this page. The attached PDF shows a sample report generated by the Research Data Management System.

Structure of the Research Data Management System

The research platform contains the following components:

  • Surveys: where questionnaires and forms are created and where access to completing the questionnaires or entering data is controlled
  • Reports: where the data is summarised and analysed or where the raw data can be exported for further analysis
  • Libraries: where questions relating to palliative care have been created and can be accessed for use by researchers in designing other questionnaires
  • Invitations: where email based surveys can be organised
  • Styles: where form formatting options can be accessed and applied to an individual survey.

Question Types

Each survey is made up of one or more Survey Items. Every Survey item is one of the following Item Types:

  • Multi-line Text Field: Display a question with a multi-line freeform text entry box
  • Date: Asks the respondent to enter a valid date with optional maximum and minimum values
  • Single-line Text Field: Freeform text field with optional formatting rules, including minimum and maximum values
  • Upload File: Allow user to upload a file. File types can be restricted
  • Checkboxes: Lists of answers from which the respondent can select one or more answers
  • Radio Buttons: Lists of answers from which only one answer can be selected
  • Dropdown: Menu Lists of answers in a drop down menu from which the user can select one or more answers
  • Matrix Question: Rank multiple items or answer multiple questions on the scale or set of scales.

Survey Management

Researchers can use the platform in two ways. You can use the facility to provide online data entry and management for paper based data collection or you can conduct email-based or web-based surveys.

As a project manager, you can create surveys either by writing your own questions or by copying questions from the library into your survey. You can then personalise your survey by adding a logo or applying a style. Once your content and layout is completed, you can determine who can take your survey or determine who can enter data to the forms. You can set the start and finish dates for your survey and limit the number of responses. You can also invite people to take your survey by email.

A number of security options are available. The project manager can enable the survey or questionnaire to be available to all users of the platform. This is useful for emailing surveys, or where general use is anticipated. The manager can define and impose a password, where only those with access to the platform and with the password to a specific survey will be able to enter data. The manager can also control which individuals have access to the questionnaire by defining the user list.

There is the capacity to track data changes using an email alert system.

When data entry or data collection is complete you can review the results using the report function or you can export the data to your own computer for further analysis.

Those requiring more detailed information on the multi-site research platform should contact the Website Administrator.

To access this facility, users must be registered. Registration involves contacting the CareSearch Administrator at caresearch@flinders.edu.au and completing the required registration forms.

Australian researchers undertaking palliative research are usually able to use this platform without charge. There may be charges for direct costs in staff time in building surveys or training.

Last updated 13 March 2012