Category Archives: Tools

Xerte – free online course builder

MANTRA, mentioned in the last post, has been put together and presented online using Xerte – browser-based tools that enable anyone with a internet connection and browser software to create interactive learning materials and courseware. No computer programming experience is needed.


Managing data – free online course

MANTRA is a free, non-assessed course with guidelines to help you understand and reflect on how to manage the data you collect throughout your research. The course is particularly appropriate for those who work with digital data.

Through a series of interactive online units you will learn about terminology, key concepts, and best practice in data management.

On completion of this course you will:

  • Be aware of the risk of data loss and data protection requirements.
  • Know how to store and transport your data safely and securely (backup and encryption).
  • Have experience in using data in software packages such as R, SPSS, NVivo, or ArcGIS.
  • Recognise the importance of good research data management practice in your own context.
  • Be able to devise a research data management plan and apply it throughout the projects life.
  • Be able to organise and document your data efficiently during the course of your project.
  • Understand the benefits of sharing data and how to do it legally and ethically.

To fully benefit from this course you need to make sure you have:

  • Regular access to a computer or mobile device with internet connection
  • Internet and computer literacy.
  • The ability to view video and play sound on your computer (HTML5 enabled browser).
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF files. You can download Acrobat Reader from:
  • The ability to manage your time effectively and the motivation to learn independently.

There are eight units and four data handling practicals: R, SPSS, NVivo, and ArcGIS. Each unit takes up to one hour, plus time for recommended resources and software practicals. In the units you will find explanations, descriptions, examples, exercises, and video clips in which academics, PhD students and others talk about the challenges of managing research data.

MANTRA is maintained by Data Library staff in Information Services, University of Edinburgh. It was originally developed in collaboration with the Institute for Academic Development as part of a Jisc-funded Managing Research Data project (2010). The content was developed based on a needs assessment with three postgraduate training programmes at the University of Edinburgh in the fields of geosciences, social and political sciences and clinical psychology.

You are free to re-use part or all of this work. Please see the Acknowledgements page for conditions of the open licence.

A digital version of the MANTRA leaflet can be found here. Printed MANTRA leaflets are available for distribution on request. Please contact the Data Library.

Evaluation and synthesis of studies using qualitative methods of analysis

Investigations of such questions as quality of life are usually undertaken by means of quantitative research methods, in the form of questionnaire-based numerical rating scales. When the aim of a study is to achieve a deeper understanding of a person’s subjective perception of – for example – quality of life, a person’s individual perceptions, experiences, impressions and actions, then qualitative research methods may be more relevant. Such methods offer an understanding of associations from the individual’s perspective.

Download the document »

Caresearch – Allied Health Hub

allied heatlh hub

Allied health professionals now have access to high quality online palliative care information to better support clients who are approaching the end of life. CareSearch, the trustworthy palliative care website that hosts the Nurses Hub, GP Hub and the Residential Aged Care Hub, is excited to announce the launch of the brand new Allied Health Hub!

The new Allied Health Hub is specifically designed to meet the information needs of allied health professionals who work with palliative clients, and was launched today in Canberra by Lin Oke, Executive Officer of Allied Health Professions Australia.

The launch of the Allied Health Hub is part of the activities at the 2013 Australian Palliative Care Conference, and is an excellent reflection on this years conference theme: Palliative care – everyone’s business.

Click here to access Allied Health Hub.

A Registry of Disability and Rehabilitation Systematic Reviews

If you are searching for evidence around disability or rehabilitation, check out this systematic review registry managed by the Center on Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research (KTDRR).

Registry of Systematic Reviews of Disability and Rehabilitation Research