Supportive technology in collaborative research: proposing the STiCR framework.
Kwasnicki RM., Cato LD., Geoghegan L., Stanley G., Pancholi J., Jain A., Gardiner MD.
INTRODUCTION: Achieving a standard of clinical research at the pinnacle of the evidence pyramid is historically expensive and logistically challenging. Research collaboratives have delivered high-impact prospective multicentre audits and clinical trials by using trainee networks with a range of enabling technology. This review outlines such use of technology in the UK and provides a framework of recommended technologies for future studies. METHODS: A review of the literature identified technology used in collaborative projects. Additional technologies were identified through web searches. Technologies were grouped into themes including access (networking and engagement), collaboration and event organisation. The technologies available to support each theme were studied further to outline relative benefits and limitations. FINDINGS: Thirty-three articles from trainee research collaboratives were identified. The most frequently documented technologies were social media applications, website platforms and research databases. The Supportive Technologies in Collaborative Research framework is proposed, providing a structure for using the technologies available to support multicentre collaboration. Such technologies are often overlooked in the literature by established and start-up collaborative project groups. If used correctly, they might help to overcome the physical, logistical and financial barriers of multicentre clinical trials.