Scrolling through institutional and higher education websites to find the lab manager you are trying to get in touch with about a very specific question might seem daunting. It might seem like an impossible task when you reach the wrong person at the wrong time. And keyword searches might skew the results for who you’re trying to locate in the first place. This technological issue should be the least of an academics worries. Scientists, economists, and those doing social science research— these individuals, doing potentially groundbreaking work, and constantly innovating and helping the world’s most vulnerable, should have a platform to link up with labs and help catalyze new developments.
Impactio laboratory is a platform, and a branch of the original website, that allows PhDs, researchers and scientists, as well as other academics, to search for higher institutions and prestigious labs around the world by keyword, research interests, researcher, or the actual lab itself. Labs bring a plethora of knowledge and expertise on a specific discipline and can be wide ranging in their field of study.
For instance, some labs already live on Impactio include, but are not limited to: The Emerging Methodologies in Economics and Finance Lab at the Democritus University of Thrace and The Wildlife and Conservation and Biology Lab at the North Gujarat University. The Biology lab already has 217 views and a healthy member list. There is also a Covid-19 pandemic lab group based out of the UK with the intended purpose of conducting research on the social, economic and political effects of Covid-19.
Defying national boundaries
Aside from a productive interface and a wide range of interests, this laboratory search engine also spans internationally, which is what really pushes the frontier for possible research and innovation from an academic standpoint. The possible exposures to different cultures of innovation, which in effect create new perspectives in social science research, could be the means by which this piece of technology is scaled up. It can’t be stressed enough that the importance of having contributors to lab studies, whether its hard science or econometrics, is having individuals from different backgrounds and different walks of life taking a look under the same microscope.
From a developer standpoint, the “global” nature of this search engine might also attract contractors who are interested in new technologies that span national boundaries and involve working with metadata.
The ability for researchers to also “post” about their thoughts within their respective laboratory networks also helps laboratories gain valuable insights while being able to reduce their upfront costs of potentially hiring someone into a more formal, in-person role. This professional network for academics might help cut costs in the long run if the technology can be utilized appropriately.
The benefits of online cross-cultural laboratories
· Reduces potential culture shock— Impactio laboratory provides an opportunity for researchers and academics from opposite corners of the world to connect, convene, and catalyze a new research study or collaborate on new findings in their field. For academics who can save money and time on traveling, and deal with less hassle when it comes to familiarizing with another culture and time zone, this can be a very advantageous process.
· Reduces environmental footprint —Impactio allows teams of researchers to meet remotely and bounce ideas off of one another instead of having to burn jet fuel to make it to a conference.
· Objective contributions— When researchers and academics can think in their own space and feel comfortable in their own working home or office, without cultural challenges, it might go a long way to help productivity and lead to innovation in the field.
Gives Academics a Voice
Academics need forums or spaces, or in this case, even online laboratories to voice their feeling and concerns about certain real-time issues. Some academics might be soft spoken or only have their worked published in abstract literary journals. These outlets need to be located manually unless the information is available on another umbrella network.
One great aspect of Impactio is that it does not just include the workings of biologists and chemical engineers. Indeed, some academics on the laboratory are promoting novel research and understandings of more political and social issues. In turn, it might be these issues, as they evolve with the current culture of today, that will receive lots of traffic because of their reliability to the masses.
When such current and real-time issues are voiced and receive Likes and Views on Impactio, it will also need upkeep and Bug fixing that will demand the freelance work of developers. The fact that there is already a group dedicated to Covid-19 is a step in the right direction for scaling up this new technology and more academics feeling inspired to post their own cutting edge research.