This jargon buster or glossary of words contains the definitions of some of the terms commonly used in public involvement in research. It is not a complete list of all the words you might come across. The original definitions were developed for INVOLVE by TwoCan Associates working in consultation with a panel of researchers and a panel of people who use services, and we add to them continually.
The jargon buster can be searched by clicking on one of the letters below or browsing all terms.
Research and Development
Research and Development: often name of Department within NHS hospitals giving permission to conduct projects on those facilities with patients/staff
Regulation & Governance
Research Assessment Exercise
There are two components to randomisation: the generation of a random sequence, and its implementation, ideally in a way so that those entering participants into a study are not aware of the sequence (concealment of allocation).
A controlled trial compares two groups of people: an experimental group who receive the new treatment and a control group, who receive the usual treatment or a placebo. The control group allows the researchers to see whether the treatment they are testing is any more or less effective than the usual or standard treatment.
In a randomised controlled trial, the decision about which group a person joins is random (that is based on chance). A computer will decide rather than the researcher or the participant. Randomisation ensures that the two groups are as similar as possible, except for the treatment they receive. This is important because it means that the researcher can be sure that any differences between the groups are only due to the treatment.
Research Capability Funding
Research Design Services
Re-tweeting is passing on someone else’s tweet. It means a lot more people will see the tweet.
Research Ethics Committee: authorised by NRES to review study documents for research taking place in the NHS, or social services. Some REC specialise in Clinical Trials, or topics such as research in children, MCA. See NRES website for more detail and other types of research http://www.nres.npsa.nhs.uk/ All Research in NHS/social services must have been reviewed by a UK REC
The area of authority or responsibility of an individual, group, or organisation.
A bias caused by only a subset of all the relevant data being available. The publication of research can depend on the nature and direction of the study results. Studies in which an intervention is not found to be effective are sometimes not published. Because of this, systematic reviews that fail to include unpublished studies may overestimate the true effect of an intervention. In addition, a published report might present a biased set of results.
As a representative, you are expected to speak on behalf of a larger group of people. If you’ve been asked to get involved in research as a representative of a particular group, you may want to think about how you can be confident that you are representing a wider range of people’s views, rather than just offering your own perspective.
The term research means different things to different people, but is essentially about finding out new knowledge that could lead to changes to treatments, policies or care.
The definition used by the Department of Health is: “The attempt to derive generalisable new knowledge by addressing clearly defined questions with systematic and rigorous methods.”
Research commissioners write a research brief. The brief describes why they want to commission a piece of research, what questions the research should address and sometimes how the research should be carried out. It might include information about when the research needs to be completed and how much money is available. Researchers then write a research proposal that explains how they will address the research brief.
Research governance is a process aimed at ensuring that research is high quality, safe and ethical. The Department of Health has a Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care, which everyone involved in research within the NHS or social services must follow.
Research grants are given to enable researchers to carry out a particular piece of research. They might amount to millions of pounds for a major study about genetics for example, or a few hundred pounds for a local study about people’s experience of using a particular service. Usually, in order to get research grants, researchers have to write a research proposal and receive a positive peer review.
Research methods are the ways researchers collect and analyse information. So research methods include interviews, questionnaires, diaries, clinical trials, experiments, analysing documents or statistics, and watching people’s behaviour.
Research networks aim to bring together people who have an interest in research about a particular condition or group of people. Networks might be national or local.
The Department of Health supports research networks to promote research in specific areas. These include:• cancer• medicines for children• diabetes• dementia• mental health• stroke.
These networks encourage researchers to work together and improve the quality of research.
Outside the NHS there are other types of research networks. For example, the Alzheimer’s Society and the Multiple Sclerosis Society support research networks of service users and carers who are actively involved in research.
The term research partner is used to describe people who get actively involved in research, to the extent that they are seen by their ‘professional’ colleagues as a partner, rather than someone who might be consulted occasionally.
Partnership suggests that researchers and service users/carers have a relationship that involves mutual respect and equality.