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: https://bit.ly/ChariteSR

Cochrane Interactive Learning: https://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

https://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: https://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

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

https://bit.ly/2wzOR3a

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

https://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

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: https://bit.ly/2Uzd8yy

·       Wolters-Kluwers: https://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: https://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

https://bit.ly/2UFqCIS

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

https://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.

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

https://bit.ly/2UBZsCW

More information

Twitter thread outlining some of the key concepts: https://bit.ly/39ngV7e

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

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.

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

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/