Intersect News #39 December 2011

7 Dec 2011

Intersect delivers Android app

Dr Nerida Creswick and software engineers Sean McCarthy and Veronica Luke review the WOMBAT application.

Intersect has delivered an electronic data collection tool developed in collaboration with the Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research at the UNSW. The Work Observation Method by Activity Timing (WOMBAT) measures clinicians’ complex patterns of work, capturing degrees of complexity previously impossible.

The WOMBAT is an application allowing observers to accurately record the tasks a doctor or nurse carries out during a time period. Information to be captured includes who the target is interacting with, what task they are performing and for how long, tasks conducted in parallel and interruptions.

Observers use a portable device running an Android application, uploading data to a web application.

Intersect has developed software and a carefully designed user interface for the tablet devices.

A very useful service: technology audit

We often see research groups throwing good money after bad to customise software that barely fits their needs. Often a group needs to make a key decision: should they upgrade and extend existing software, rebuild it or identify alternatives?

Intersect has recently completed a technology audit of a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for one of our members. Two eResearch analysts followed the laboratory’s workflow, noting the ‘pain points’, and suggested improvements that could be made. They then appraised the design of the system, how it was deployed and conducted an analysis of how well it matched the laboratory’s needs.
The resulting report suggested three options for the laboratory to consider, each qualified in terms of cost, effort and sustainability. Whichever option the laboratory decides on, they now have an independent assessment of their technology which took a fortnight and $6,000 to deliver. The benefits are clear: better informed decisions can be made and the real costs of supporting a bad-fit technology solution are identified.

eResearch analysts also endorse and support specific tools, based on the experience of the analysts and the researchers with whom they engage. See

NeCTAR Stage 1 submissions

The NeCTAR Project’s Stage 1 Request For Proposals attracted 75 proposals across three of the four programs. Proposals were received from a broad cohort of research institutions and organisations across the humanities, arts and sciences.

Australian researchers submitted proposals for:

  • 48 eResearch Tools;
  • 21 Virtual Laboratories;
  • 6 Research Cloud Nodes. There were no National Servers Program proposals.

Intersect was involved with 19 proposals across the three programs.

The NeCTAR Expert Panels will assess and recommend proposals to the NeCTAR Project Board. Funding for successful proposals is expected to be available from early 2012 See the timeline at

James Tizard Memorial Prize

Applications for a striking and innovative use of infrastructure are invited for the James Tizard Memorial Prize, which is $5000 towards the cost of attending an overseas conference.

The prize is open to Australian researchers best able to demonstrate the role played by eResearch infrastructure in the success of their research.

A tribute to the contribution made by James Tizard to Australian eResearch, the prize aims to reward the work of an outstanding researcher while highlighting the critical role that eResearch infrastructure plays in supporting research.
Applications are due 16 December 2011.


WANTED:  Strong Perl developers with up to 5 years software development experience and knowledge of web services – definition, configuration, deployment & security. See

Kind regards
Leonie Hellmers

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