FAQs - General Questions

How do I get started?
The easiest way to get started is to first contact the Centre.

In general, one-to-one meetings are most effective, and can occur at the Centre's offices in Woodview House on UCD’s Belfield campus.  Otherwise other forms of communication, such as telephone or e-mail may be sufficient.

Between the initial contact and the initial consultation, the researcher will be required to fill out an initial enquiry form giving broad outlines of the areas the researcher is consulting about.

After the initial meeting, a summary of the work including deliverables and cost estimates will be provided as appropriate.

When should I consult with CSTAR?
The earlier in a project the consultation begins, the better.  CSTAR can advise on all aspects of research including formulating research questions, designing an appropriate study to answer these questions, strategies for measuring traits of interest, methods for analysing data of all forms, presentation of results, as well as responding to the peer-review process.

What should I do before the first consultation with CSTAR?
The more organised your materials are and the more you make available to the consulting analyst before the meeting the more that can be accomplished during the initial consultation.  Some conceptual things that can be of benefit are to consider clearly stating your research questions and identifying the primary question, and subsequently which questions are secondary questions.  This can help focus the conversation.  Additionally, any data which has already been collected can help the analyst identify which analysis techniques are most appropriate.

What should I bring to the first consultation with CSTAR?
Any documentation you have already prepared for the study.  If you already have collected data, bringing the data in its current format is also beneficial.  If you are dealing with data from surveys, a copy of the survey and any papers detailing the development of the survey and its reported properties can also be of benefit.

How can I make the most of my initial consultation?
Come prepared!  Please have available all documents previously prepared.  If you have progressed far enough into your project that you have data collected, bring it with you (preferably clean).

What contracting options are available?
The standard option is for us to first consult with you, discuss your needs and estimate costs, all of which is free of charge. Subsequent time is charged at €147.60 per hour including VAT where appropriate (€120 pre-VAT).  For larger projects, the Centre can be held on retainer with details to be mutually agreed upon by the Centre and the individual or organisation conducting the research.

Does CSTAR only work with organisations or research teams?
CSTAR works with all levels of researchers and research teams.  Individuals are encouraged to contact the Centre with any questions they may have.

How should CSTAR be acknowledged in my work? Do I include my CSTAR advisor as a co-author?
If researchers accept advice from the Centre, an acknowledgement in any work products would be appropriate.  If the Centre provides analysis and further services, an invitation for authorship is expected.  The guidelines on authorship and acknowledgement by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors will be used as reference, http://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/defining-the-role-of-authors-and-contributors.html

Do I retain intellectual rights to my ideas that CSTAR assists in developing?
CSTAR is a consulting service.  As such it is not in a position to - nor does it intend to - pursue intellectual rights or patents.  The function of CSTAR is to improve research methods in biostatistics and health research, and so advance scientific work.  As appropriate, CSTAR does expect to be acknowledged for their contributions to major works.

Will CSTAR present my results for me at conferences?
While the most common contribution will be to advise methods for analysis and enable researchers to do their own analyses and present their results, there will be situations where the work requires more advanced analyses and support.  In these situations CSTAR is prepared to do the analyses and present the results as necessary.  Fees would be charged as appropiate.

Will CSTAR use my data for publications?
CSTAR will only use data for publications with consent and co-authorship.  When research requires developing a new method or extending a current method, the research community needs to be kept abreast of the advances.  As such, there will be situations in which CSTAR staff will be presenting papers to the statistical community about the analyses within a particular study.  With the author’s consent, these papers will include the results of the study in question.

What if I just want to hand over my data?
CSTAR is able to analyse and interpret data for researchers.  While the Centre prefers to advise and train researchers to become self sufficient, the Centre is in a position to actually carry out the analyses.  In these situations, it is generally expected that the analyst will be included as an author on resulting publications.

My question is about an uncommon statistical technique. Can CSTAR help?
CSTAR has a diverse, well-trained staff with a wealth of experience in most areas and research methods.  The expertise amongst staff ranges from qualitative to quantitative research, to experience in both traditional methods as well as Bayesian approaches.  In addition to this, the staff also includes qualified methodological researchers who can extend existing methods or even develop new methods where appropriate.