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Presentation of QUEST activities to research groups

To make its initiatives better known, the QUEST Center presents itself in group meetings, jours fixes and other scientific meeting formats. The presentation format is highly flexible, but most often includes a short general introduction to QUEST, followed by a presentation focused on a specific field of activity.

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Charité Dashboard on Responsible Research

The BIH QUEST Center has developed a dashboard that provides an up-to-date overview of the status quo (as well as the progress) of various metrics of trustworthy and useful research at Charité and BIH. Examples of metrics shown are open sharing of data and analysis code in Charité publications and publication rates of clinical trials.

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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.

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Toolbox for COVID-19 Research

Keeping track of the rapidly growing knowledge and wealth of information on COVID-19 seems almost impossible. The toolbox created within the project "The COVID-19 Evidence Ecosystem" (CEOsys) aims to support COVID-19 researchers with a collection of freely available, informative tools such as data sharing platforms, protocol guidelines or trial trackers focusing on COVID-19 research. Based on recommendations from COVID-19 experts in Germany, the QUEST Center at BIH together with the Department of Anesthesiology with a focus on Operative Intensive Care Medicine at Charité have compiled relevant tools and structured them in the form of a toolbox.

The toolbox addresses COVID-19 researchers but is also freely available to the interested public on the project website: www.covid-evidenz.de/toolbox.

Clinical trial transparency: registration & reporting

Here you will find information on transparency in clinical research - materials from our workshops on study results reporting, results from our research and further useful resources, e.g.

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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.

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LabCIRS – a Laboratory Critical Incident and Error Reporting System for preclinical research

The LabCIRS (Laboratory Critical Incident and Error Reporting System) is an anonymous error reporting system that was developed by the Department of Experimental Neurology at the Charité together with the QUEST Center at the BIH and is made available to the Charité - as well as to the entire scientific community.

Supporting mental health during pandemics

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of scientists in many ways. Although many aspects of day-to-day life are more challenging, it has also provided the opportunity to explore new ways of positively shaping research culture. Together, the QUEST Center and community partners have developed guides for promoting the mental health of early career researchers (ECRs) written for PIs and supervisors, and for ECRs themselves. 

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Open Science

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.

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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.

Systematic reviews

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.

Digital tools for clinical trial meta-research

The QUEST Center develops several tools for clinical trial meta-research, e.g. a tool to help illustrate the totality of registered clinical trial activity for a drug or indication as reported on clinicaltrials.gov.

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Preclinical Research Unit

The preclinical research unit (PRU) forms a hub that connects different stakeholders in preclinical research including core facilities to bring together complementing expertise and to ensure as well as to provide guidance towards robust evidence and clinical translation.

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QUEST Center

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