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

IRG Pre-Conference Workshop – HTAi13

Check this advertisement out! I have to say that I am feeling very chuffed. Who knew that an event our group organised would have an advertisement like this! Many thanks go to Sally Wood of EAHIL.

Seoul page EAHIL

Doctor’s Toolbag

Doctor’s Toolbag is a new product from CEBMi –

The Doctor’s Toolbag iPhone app developed by the BMJ Group and CEBMi Limited provides a fast and simple way to use the most effective rules in a busy clinical setting. Some rules help with diagnosis, others are useful for screening or assessing risk factors. Combining these rules with the latest evidence from Best Practice and Clinical Evidence from the BMJ Evidence Centre, provides a succinct and up-to-date tool that can be incorporated into everyday clinical practice to help improve patient care.

Key features

  • Contains 74 of the most useful clinical prediction tools for prognosis and diagnosis. Each prediction tool tells you what clinical features to look for, and what they mean for your patient
  • Evidence summaries supporting each tool, with links to abstracts from key publications
  • Regular updates to evidence summaries and prediction rules reflecting the latest clinical evidence
  • Up-to-date information from Best Practice and Clinical Evidence about additional tests that may be required, treatment and relevant guidelines
  • Rules searchable by title, specialist area & condition
  • Hide/reveal supplementary information, including useful pictures and sounds
  • Customisation of your homepage for one click access to your favourite tools
  • Embedded article references, including links to sources, for convenient mobile browsing
  • In-app web browsing of related content
  • Adjustable font size

Clinical prediction tools include:

  • ABCD2 stroke risk score – Prediction of stroke risk in patients with TIA
  • AUDIT C – Detection of the early signs of hazardous and harmful drinking
  • CURB 65 – Criteria for severity of community acquired pneumonia
  • MiniCog – Screening for cognitive impairment
  • Wells DVT Score – Assessment of deep vein thrombosis
  • Ottawa ankle, knee and foot rules – Does the patient need an ankle, knee or foot x-ray?
  • PHQ9 depression score – Assessment of depression in primary care
  • Centor criteria – Diagnosis of acute bacterial tonsillitis in adults and in children