This blog post is a guest post from Edword Simpson, technical engineer at Science Exchange lab, RS Calibration.
Ensuring that everything in your laboratory is ready for any upcoming audit is a nail-biting task. The annual FDA audit for compliance with regulatory guidelines, like the current goods manufacturing process (cGMP) is especially tedious. Manufacturing processes and equipment for pharmaceuticals are regulated very carefully by the FDA and require strict adherence to industry standards.
Here are five things that aren’t always given the attention they require and could easily result in regulatory action for failing to comply with cGMP: Read the rest of this entry »
Here at Science Exchange, we aim to enable efficient scientific collaboration. One of the biggest hurdles researchers face on our site is deciding where to send their requests. Conversely, it can be frustrating for lab admins to receive requests outside their capabilities. With that in mind, we are working on improving our search experience. This update will be available at the end of next month.
In preparation for our improved search experience, we’ve launched a tagging feature for labs. Labs can apply tags, such as equipment names, to their services, which will allow researchers to narrow their search to only labs that have the machine they need. Also, labs that have signed agreements with Science Exchange, like our Non-Disclosure Agreement, will receive storefront tags, allowing researchers who require that level of protection to quickly identify appropriate labs.
If you’re a lab admin on Science Exchange, we encourage you to begin tagging your services and storefront now! This will ensure that researchers will be able to find your lab more easily with our new search experience.
Read the rest of this entry »
Just a few weeks ago, we introduced you to our new quotes with line items. There has already been another exciting development for the site and we want to share that with you as well!
Lab-Initiated Quotes, or LIQs (“licks”) as we affectionately call them, are a way for any lab to begin their interaction with a researcher by sending a quote directly to them, whether they are already on Science Exchange or not. Some terrific applications for LIQs are in cases when you’ve been discussing the scope of work with a researcher over email or the phone and want to send them a quick quote so they can accept and get the ball rolling on the project as soon as possible. Read the rest of this entry »
This has been an incredible year for Science Exchange. Our team has grown and our site is continually improving based on feedback we receive every day from researchers and lab admins alike.
Our newest feature was one of the most commonly requested from the lab admins on our site. It began as a discussion with the Lab Advisory Board – the LAB for short.
Previously, lab admins were able to submit text in a large description box, upload any pertinent files (like their institution quotes that included line items), and a price for the project. So in order to make the quoting process more flexible and intuitive, we’ve built line items into our existing quote system.
Labs are now able to generate their own line items within Science Exchange!
Read the rest of this entry »
We are proud to announce that we have just launched our largest product update ever – our newly designed Laboratory Storefront platform which consolidates lab management tools in order to optimize project management and internal workflow for Science Exchange laboratories.
Our vision for Science Exchange has always been to improve the efficiency of scientific research through tools that promote collaboration. We’ve spent the past three years towards this goal, building a marketplace for researchers to search and order over 2000 experiments, and helping labs to promote and manage these services online. The Laboratory Storefront is a critical step towards streamlining and improving our laboratories’ internal processes.
Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve written recently about our impending redesign, and how Science Exchange is streamlining your lab’s workflow to make your experience more efficient. Now let’s talk about the impulse to be a part of Science Exchange in the first place.
We are growing every single day. In fact, each month continues to be our “best month ever” for orders and revenue through the site. We are actively recruiting the best labs in the country to be on our platform. The best part, however, is that we also get an increased amount of labs applying of their own accord on a daily basis.
The directors and sales teams realize that there has been a tipping point, and they’re actively losing out on revenue for their lab by not being on Science Exchange.
The feedback we consistently receive from labs on the site includes:
- Our billing process is incredibly swift.
- Their reach has increased; they are working with researchers they wouldn’t otherwise had the opportunity to work with.
- They are guaranteed payment within 30 days of order completion because Science Exchange pay labs directly.
Long story short: your expertise is valued and valuable on Science Exchange. Listing as a lab on Science Exchange enables you to reap the rewards from the thousands of researchers on the site looking for expert labs to perform their research.
If you’re already listed or plan to, make sure to pay it forward to colleagues that could no doubt benefit from the Science Exchange network.
Some of the Science Exchange team recently went to AAAS – the American Association for the Advancement of Science. While there, I went to several sessions that talked about the composition of research teams and the dedication they have to have applying for grant after grant, and often times not hearing back for months at a time, only to then see those months of hopes dashed when they are denied funding.
The NIH reports that the average research grant success rate for fiscal year 2012 was 18%. Read the rest of this entry »
In modern life, dissemination of information is largely digital. So the ability to quickly share that information is a necessity, especially for efficient research collaborations.
At Science Exchange, we receive feedback for site improvements daily and a consistent request was the file uploader. This was an opportunity to significantly upgrade a feature that would have a big impact on your experience and every order that goes through the site. Check out the changes!
1) Drag and Drop
Drag any file from your computer’s hard drive and drop it into the field to upload, or click the “Choose File” button and select your file that way.
Read the rest of this entry »
My Twitter profile.
Twitter is a magical beast. It can connect people anywhere in the world. It can make or break a brand. It can bring together scientists who might never otherwise meet IRL – in real life.
Many social media channels – Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, to name a few – accomplish all of those things as well, but each has its own use case, unintentional or designed.
Facebook – generally used for following brands, keeping up with friends and family, being a social resume where new friends can see what movies you have in common, RSVPing to events, etc.
Google+ – highly cerebral chats (if you know where to look) especially where science is concerned, establishing dominance in a field, showcasing your research comprehensively.
Pinterest – where science and art meet, a place to inspire young and old scientists alike by visually stunning research and nature images.
Twitter, however, seems to be an amalgamation of all the rest. Here are a few ways to use Twitter to your benefit.
1) Connect with people doing similar research
By using hashtags centered around research topics you’re either working on or interested in, you can follow along in the current conversations about those topics. Just search for the hashtag(s) you’re interested in and join the conversation. If you’re using a third-party client like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, you can even save these searches for long-term interest. Read the rest of this entry »
Scientists, among most other professions, know that reputation is the key to a sustainable career. Every time you publish your latest research, you’re putting your life’s work out in the world for public consumption. Similarly, every time you order or perform an experimental service on Science Exchange, you are putting your name out there and saying, “this work represents who I am as a scientist,” and we think you should be rewarded for that.
So, Science Exchange has implemented new facility metrics! The reviews have changed and the way we display our metrics have changed – let’s go through them.
Every time a project is completed, both the requester and the provider have the opportunity to rate and review each other. Our previous system was a 1-5 star scale, and our data showed that the majority of the ratings fell on one end or the other. Therefore, we upgraded to the binary review system below. The percentage of positive ratings received are shown as a part of the search results and on each individual facility page.
There are two contributions for each review:
- The user can choose that yes, you would work with your project partner again, or no, you would not.
- A user can also leave a comment describing their experience working with their project partner. A requester’s comment is then viewable on their provider’s facility page, and a provider’s comment is then viewable on their requester’s profile page.
Our previous blog post on increasing provider search rank went into great detail about the importance of completing projects through Science Exchange and how they affect search rank. Each completed project on Science Exchange improves a provider’s rank, and those completed projects are now visible directly in the search results:
As a requester, you know immediately whether the facility has a proven track record of successfully completing projects on the site, and as a provider, you are able to showcase that track record of success.
Endorsements are ways to give merit to a facility if you haven’t yet worked with them on Science Exchange, but have worked with them outside of Science Exchange in the past.
Endorsements are also an easy way to bump facility search rankings. Share a facility link with whomever you wish, and they can endorse that facility at any time by visiting the page and clicking the blue “Endorse This Facility” button in the sidebar.
Future versions will include the ability to filter search results even further based on all these criteria.
We’re really excited about continuing to improve our metrics, implementing new ways to search for the experimental services you need, filtering providers based on your individual criteria, and giving service providers the opportunity to generate even more revenue and showcase their expertise. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to chat!