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Educational resources to make the best out of work from home periods during the corona pandemic

Around the world, many researchers have found themselves in self-isolation, and are unable to continue performing lab-based studies. However, this can be an opportunity to learn and expand professional and scientific horizons. We have created a list of resources to help you make the best of this strange and challenging time, and increase the quality of your research in the future.

I want to...

1. …manage my data better
Name Best Practices for Biomedical Research Data Management
Type of resource Online course from Harvard Medical School
Details Topics related to research data management (e.g. data types & formats, data storage & archiving, data sharing, policies, data management plans)
Credit available? Free certificate
URL bit.ly/3bmHif9
More information If you are members of BIH/Charité/MDC: For further resources on data management and data sharing, with a discipline‐specific focus where available, please contact evgeny.bobrov@bihealth.de. He will also support you with your implementation of RDM practices (e.g. documenting and validating data, choosing a repository, finding data for reuse, writing a data management plan)

2. …try out systematic reviews and meta‐analyses

2.1. …with a focus on systematic reviews and meta‐analyses of clinical data
Name Cochrane Interactive Learning
Type of resource Online courses from Cochrane Center, available free to members of the Charité
Details Introduction to conducting systematic reviews for intervention studies
Credit available? Certificate
URL Instructions on how to register: bit.ly/ChariteSR
  Cochrane Interactive Learning: bit.ly/3bqNfYy
2.2. …with a focus on systematics reviews and meta‐analyses of animal/preclinical studies
Name Systematic Reviews of Animal Studies
Type of resource Online course from SYRCLE (SYstematic Review Center for Laboratory animal Experimentation, Radboud University)
Details Introduction to conducting systematic reviews in animal studies
Credit available? Unclear
URL bit.ly/2WThYtl (use registration code “syrcle”!)
More information If you are members of BIH/Charité/MDC: we have a new facility to help researchers plan and perform systematic review and meta‐ analysis of animal studies: CAMARADES (Collaborative Approach to Meta‐analysis & Review of Data from Experimental Studies) Contact: sarah.mccann@charite.de; bit.ly/CAMARADESberlin
  Read about why we perform systematic reviews of animal studies: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4013765/
3. …brush up on statistics.
Name Points of Significance    
Type of resource 'Nature Collection' of explanatory articles designed for biologists    
Details Curated collection of short pieces on key concepts in statistics    
Credit available? no    
URL go.nature.com/33I0v8s    
More information A link to similar resources from other publishers: go.nature.com/3dDsLxE    
Improving Your Statistical Inference
Name Improving Your Statistical Inference
Type of resource Intermediate Coursera online course from Daniel Lakens
Details Learn to better understand statistics for empirical research and experimental design
Credit available? Basic participation free, can pay to fully enroll and have access to all course materials and certificate of completion
URL bit.ly/3aj6u5T

4. …improve my programming skills

4.1. …by learning R:
Name RStudio’s Beginners’ Site
Type of resource Online resource collection
Details Step‐by‐step installation instructions and recommended reading from the makers of RStudio. In the Primer Section you can program yourself in your browser and practice on exercises
Credit available? No
URL bit.ly/2wzOR3a
R Programming
Name R Programming
Type of resource Beginner online course from Coursera and Johns Hopkins University
Details Provides and introduction to R and practical issues in statistical computing
Credit available? Basic participation free, can pay to fully enroll and have access to all course materials and certificate of completion
URL bit.ly/39fAhuX
4.2. …by learning Python:
Name Learn Python 3
Type of resource Online Course from Codecademy
Details Introduction to general programming concepts with Python. Free version offers interactive lessons and daily practice, pro version has additional resources and “portfolio‐building” function
Credit available? No
URL bit.ly/3ahT6Pv
4.3. …by learning version control with Git:
Name GitHub Learning Lab
Type of resource Online resource collection
Details Courses and project from the makers of GitHub to help users improve their version control
Credit available? No
URL bit.ly/3ak4ISe
More information GitLab also has online training available: bit.ly/2UiFn5r
5. …improve my peer review skills
Name Science of Science Reading List
Type of resource Curated list of helpful papers
Details Helps potential peer reviewers learn to identify & fix common problems with scientific papers
Credit available? No
URL bit.ly/3bsylke
Publons Academy Course
Name Publons Academy Course
Type of resource Online course from Publons aimed at early career researchers
Details Interactive course with exercises and feedback from mentors
Credit available? No
URL bit.ly/2Uj0Uem
More information Many publishing companies also offer free “in‐house” for peer reviewers. Here are a few examples:
  Nature: go.nature.com/3bnjOGH
  Elsevier: bit.ly/2WGX5kJ
  Wiley: bit.ly/2Uzd8yy
  Wolters‐Kluwers: bit.ly/33J78ao
  The EQUATOR Network also provides excellent field‐specific guidance and guidelines for reviewers: bit.ly/3aikrkR

6. …plan new and better experiments for when I get back to the lab.

6.1. …with support in pre‐registering my new study:
Name Aspredicted
Type of resource Tool to generate quick preregistration template for you and your coauthors
Details Asks a series of simple questions about your study and generates a (citeable) PDF and URL for your project
Credit available? No
URL bit.ly/2wwAnBo
More information The Open Science Framework also provides templates and online infrastructure for project preregistrations: bit.ly/3btPdYc If you’re conducting preclinical experiments, you can also consider the Preclinicaltrials.eu database: bit.ly/39n8VTI
6.2. …with support in designing my new animal experiments:
Name Experimental Design Assistant
Type of resource Online tool from NC3Rs
Details Helps streamline and reduce bias in planning of animal studies
Credit available? No
URL bit.ly/2UiIKJD
More information The NC3rRs also has lots of e‐learning opportunities for improving scientific practice and animal welfare: bit.ly/2QKcjBO
6.3. …with support in improving existing protocols:
Name protocols.io
Type of resource Webinar from protocols.io
Details Learn how to share and cite your protocols to make your research more transparent and reproducible
Credit available? No
URL bit.ly/2UFqCIS
Webinar Report: Everything you need to know about Research Resource Identifiers
Name Webinar Report: Everything you need to know about Research Resource Identifiers
Type of resource Webinar from eLife
Details Ever had problems implementing a protocol because you couldn’t determine what animal, antibody, plasmid, software tool, etc. the authors used? Find out how you can use research resource identifiers to quickly solve this problem.
Credit available? No
URL bit.ly/2Uhc6YO
6.4. …learning how to document experiments in an electronic laboratory notebook:
Name Electronic Laboratory Notebook Training
Type of resource Online training from the QUEST Center
Details A short course in English or German on how to use electronic lab notebooks
Credit available? No
URL bit.ly/3dueiUx
More information If you are members of BIH/Charité/MDC: For more information, contact ingo.przesdzing@charite.de

7. …make better figures.

Webinar Report: Transforming data visualisation to improve transparency and reproducibility
Name Webinar Report: Transforming data visualisation to improve transparency and reproducibility
Type of resource Webinar from eLife
Details Find out why you shouldn’t use a bar graph for continuous data, and what to use instead
Credit available? No
URL bit.ly/2UBZsCW
More information Twitter thread outlining some of the key concepts:
  bit.ly/39ngV7e
Sample Size Matters
Name Sample Size Matters
Type of resource Online course from the Mayo Clinic, 9‐12 hours, $50 USD
Details Learn to identify and fix common problems with data visualization and analysis in small sample size studies
Credit available? Certificate
URL mayocl.in/3dz7STY
Data visualization, bar naked: A free tool for creating interactive graphics
Name Data visualization, bar naked: A free tool for creating interactive graphics
Type of resource Paper and accompanying resources for visualizing and interacting with data
Details Using small sample‐size studies, the authors provide examples of best (and worst!) practices, as well as tools to explore them yourself
Credit available? No
URL bit.ly/39k6yBo
More information Want to learn more about transforming data visualization? Check out this paper: bit.ly/2UmbykH

8. …work on my scientific writing and reporting

Writing in the Sciences
Name Writing in the Sciences
Type of resource Online course from Coursera and Stanford
Details This course teaches scientists to become more effective writers, using practical examples and exercises
Credit available? Basic participation free, can pay to fully enroll and have access to all course materials and certificate of completion
URL bit.ly/33L1YuI
Massive Science
Name Massive Science
Type of resource Online training for authors from Massive Science
Details One‐time membership fee ($10 USD) provides training on scientific communication, with emphasis on narrative and sharing findings with non‐scientific audience
Credit available? No, but you can write for their online publication after you’ve finished the training
URL massivesci.com/consortium/