“Dimensions enables us to see much earlier how research in the field is evolving, so we can ensure we are spending our money as innovatively and effectively as possible.”
Michael Siegel, Vice President of Research Programs, National Psoriasis Foundation
“Dimensions has made it much easier to extend our reach.”
About the organization
The National Psoriasis Foundation is the world’s largest non-profit organization supporting research into Psoriasis. With over $2 million of research projects funded every year, the Foundation focuses on supporting high-risk, high-reward investigations that will help move the field forward, and on early career researchers or those transitioning between funding – in order to ensure that progress is maintained.
Although the Foundation has always tracked the outcomes of the research it supports, to date this had been fairly informal. They were keen to improve on this not only to measure the value of the funding that they do, but also to be able to better communicate to others what the results of their investment and support were. We spoke to Vice President of Research programs Michael Siegel to find out more about what they were looking to track, and how using Dimensions has changed things for them.
A change in staff numbers meant that the process of collecting the necessary data, which had previously been a very manual activity involving interviews and literature reviews, was no longer practical.
Realising that quantitative data could help them tell the story a different way, Michael and his team settled on Dimensions as a solution to meet their needs. They saw it as particularly useful because it enabled them to capture a new aspect of the research process; to see the Psoriasis research that was being funded around the world, and then subsequent publications associated with those projects.
Making use of the insights
Having access to the funding information has enabled the Foundation to better assess its research programs and identify where they might look to further refine them, as well as helping them to identify new organizations and institutions that they might look to work with.
It’s not just a new perspective of the funding landscape that Dimensions has offered Michael and his team; they’ve been applying the data in lots of other ways too. Identifying which researchers are involved in projects or publications has also enabled them to find potential new researchers to work with and build better, more extensive peer review communities.
“We were always looking for people to write or review for the journal, and Dimensions has made it much easier to extend our reach in this regard.”
This has been particularly beneficial for their in-house journal, which is now able to find and engage with a much wider community of experts.
Taking it a step further
Michael says that his team now has a new staff member who will be responsible for analysing research outcomes and preparing reports for donors – a valuable stakeholders who they are keen to demonstrate value to!
Using Dimensions they will be able to include information not just on how their funded project fits into the bigger picture of research in the field, but incorporate this alongside publication outcomes and alternative measures of reach such as altmetrics – which help to demonstrate the broader reach and influence of the work. Combined with citation data, these insights enable them to tell a much richer story of their research program and its impacts.
As well as the reports they will be providing for donors, Michael intends to also set up more extensive internal reporting that can be shared amongst their teams. He hopes that these and the external ones will expand over time, and will likely look at setting set key points for reporting on major projects – such as at 1 and 5 years in.
Michael notes that they also plan to incorporate Dimensions data into their website – building pages to show an overview of individual projects to help increase the visibility of the research activities that they support.
“Biomedical research funding is not perfect – the more funders are willing to share their data to enable more accurate assessment of outcomes the better it is for the community.”
Would you like to learn about how Dimensions can support research within your organization? Get in touch and one of our experts would be happy to speak to you.