Skip to content

restructure study collaborators

Bengfort requested to merge study-user-rels into main

User tests showed that the way we currently structure study collaborators is not intuitive for users. Many users ended up entering the same user as researcher, coordinator, and principal investigator. This indicates that we made wrong assumptions about the structure of their work.

We currently have some different fields to express which users are related to a study:

  • responsible researcher [required]
  • coordinator [required]
  • principal investigator [required, from a small subset of users]
  • affiliated scientist [optional, string]
  • owners [at least one required]

Users who are currently set as a researcher/coordinator/PI in any study cannot be deleted. The long term plan is that users must hand over their studies to someone else before leaving the institute.

In this merge request I propose the following structure instead:

  • contact person [required]
  • affiliated scientist [required, string]
  • owners [at least one required]

"Owners" has not changed at all. The three structured fields "researcher"/"coordinator"/"PI" are replaced by a single "contact person". This simplification also makes the process of finding substitutes before the researcher leaves the institute much simpler. To me it felt weird to have a study profile without mentioning the scientists. So instead of removing the "affiliated scientists" field I decided to expanded. It now also includes the responsible researcher and principal investigator. I think this version is much less confusing because it is quite similar to the authors of a paper which should be familiar to anyone working in scientific research.

We can actually lean on authorship convention and deduce responsible researcher and PI from that format. However, that information is not available in a structured format, so we cannot use it in any reliable way, e.g. extract information for a research report or restrict some actions (e.g. approval) to the PI.

In a way what I am proposing is to revert 427d365a ("split contact_person into researcher and coordinator").

This simplification had some further effects:

  • It is no longer necessary to indicate which users can be picked as principal investigators
  • The only field that is filled from the user-specific defaults is "department", so I removed the (slightly confusing) "manage defaults" button.
Edited by Bengfort

Merge request reports