Published: 19th May 2021
This platform helps researchers from various fields collaborate and learn from each other
Researcher.Life helps researchers connect with other researchers and also serve as a one-point solution for all things research, finds Blessy Mathew Prasad
When the pandemic hit, researchers across the globe began frantically looking for a solution, a vaccine. Data collectors, virologists, epidemiologists and researchers from various other fields had to work together towards a single goal and it was not an easy task. The whole scenario revealed just how important collaboration between researchers is — it's a global effort. It was around that time that Cactus Communications, a global scientific communication platform, was working on its new initiative — Researcher.Life. The initiative was intended to connect researchers and serve as a one-point solution for all things research.
Dina Mukherjee, Marketing Director, explains, "As an organisation, we work very closely with academia. Our primary focus has been to work with researchers in various fields and provide publication solutions. Over the years, we realised that the life of a researcher is not just about the publication, but about the research itself. A large part of a researcher's life involves collaboration, looking for material, looking for funds and cross-functional research to complement their work. The pandemic was a great example where virolgists and epidemologists had to share material as they were all working towards a single solution. A few years ago, we started developing allied services and solutions for researchers. These solutions aim at solving the dilemma of things like which paper to read or which lab to follow. Our technology can solve that."
Researcher.Life has features like 'R Discovery', where researchers can find relevant reading material. It has features for collaboration between researchers, information on how to get funds and how funding policies are changing. It also has a technology that can help do a basic review and edit. There are solutions for every stage of a researcher's journey. "In fact, 80 per cent of the services are free. We have excellent feedback because this has become a one-point solution for researchers," says Dina.
Currently, about 1,00,000 researchers use the platform. The platform has especially been helpful for researchers during the pandemic. Dina explains, "There were a lot of researchers who were under pressure to accommodate COVID-based projects. They had to completely change their line of reading and our platform helped guide them. Some of our features like 'R Voice' helped researchers collaborate with data collectors. We also conducted mental health workshops and guidance for researchers who were under stress because the labs were shut."
The platform has brought together virologists, immunologists, pulmonologists, pathologists and several others and helped them tap into each other's resources. The site was also aimed at providing laymen and policymakers reliable and verified information regarding COVID-19. The platform currently offers six tools, all designed to address a specific need or issue that researchers face.