Services and Infrastructure
The QUEST Toolbox (for your own research)
The QUEST Toolbox contains helpful tools, programs and online platforms that aim at facilitating the reproducibility of a research project on all stages. The tools are sorted along the stages of the life cycle of a research project. The QUEST toolbox is aimed specifically at biomedical researchers. While some tools are specific to that community, others are of usage also in other research communities. We tried to go for non-commercial tools wherever possible.
Educational resources to make the best out of the corona
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.
Automated screening tools
Automated screening of scientific manuscripts can help authors to identify and fix common problems, such as failing to state whether experiments were blinding or randomized, using potentially misleading bar graphs to present continuous data, or failing to acknowledge study limitations. Tools can screen a manuscript and provide authors with customized feedback in seconds. This makes automated screening a valuable strategy for improving transparency and reproducibility on a large scale, across many fields.
At QUEST, we have developed several new screening tools and are founding members of an international working group that combines many differnt tools into a powerful screening pipeline (ScreenIT).
Free access to the results of scientific work is one of the key concerns of Open Science. In 2015, the Berlin Senate passed the so-called Open Access Strategy for Berlin, which, among other things, formulates the goal that by 2020 60% of all articles from scientists of all Berlin scientific institutions should be freely accessible.
Electronic Lab Notebook (eLN)
For hundreds of years, scientists have been documented observations, research processes and experiments in paper laboratory notebooks. Meanwhile, digital documentation systems have been developed. In recent years, 'Electronic Laboratory Notebooks' (ELN) have been widly adopted by scientists in industry. Researchers at universities, however, often seem to stick to their traditional paper laboratory notebooks, although a wide varity of ELNs specially adapted to experimental research have been on the market. If you are in search for an ELN that suits your need and expectations see the ELN-Guide of the Zentralbibliothek Medizin (in German).
We offer an eLN for interested BIH researchers from the Charité and perspectively the MDC. The eLN meets the criteria of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), respective DIN EN ISO regulations as well as 21CFR11 of the FDA.
Guidelines in biomedical research
Guidelines play a crucial role in the quality and transparency of research. The reporting of research results according to specific guidelines (reporting guidelines) is required by numerous journals. Depending on the study design and research question, different guidelines are used. Common reporting guidelines are provided on the website of Cochrane. The EQUATOR Network also provides guidelines for preclinical and qualitative research.
The Meta Research reading list for peer reviewers
Looking for ways to improve your manuscripts and peer reviews? This “science of science” reading list can help!
When reviewing papers or writing your own papers, it’s important to remember that the fact that something is standard practice for your field doesn’t mean that it’s the best way of doing things. Scientists, journals and funding agencies are increasingly recognizing the limitations of many existing practices and are implementing new policies to improve transparency, rigor and reproducibility. Here we present a list of meta-research articles for authors and peer reviewers. These “science of science” papers will help peer reviewers learn to identify and understand the problems with some very common practices.
This collection of articles also offer constructive solutions that make it easier for authors to improve transparency, rigor and reproducibility.
Systematic reviews are a type of literature review providing synthesized research evidence to inform health decision-making.
Based on a clear research question and using standardized methods, systematic reviews aim to identify all relevant studies, data and information. Following a standardized and transparent critical appraisal of collected research studies and their results, research findings are synthesized qualitatively, or quantitatively using meta-analysis approaches.
Thus, systematic reviews provide a comprehensive understanding of the current evidence with regard to a particular research question.
The BIH QUEST Center has recently become a CAMARADES National Coordinating Center. CAMARADES (Collaborative Approach to Meta-Analysis and Review of Animal Data from Experimental Studies) are leaders in the field of preclinical systematic review and meta-analysis.
You will find Workshops & training on systematic reviews and meta-analyses here.
The ORCID iD (Open Researcher and Contributor iD) is an internationally recognized identifier for researchers. Since December 2019 the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin starts introducing ORCID for their research information system. The ORCID iD allows the univocal linking of a scientific work with its authors. Reasons why you should get an ORCID iD are mentioned in the FAQs for ORCID iDs at Charité Medical Library.