Recently, RWS aimed its crowd of over 40,000 researchers at the issue of COVID-19 asking them to submit documentation related to the treatment and development of a vaccine for the disease, sharing the results with anyone who is working towards that goal. With over 220 participants, the study was a success, highlighting the power of crowdsourcing to mobilize a large group of individuals quickly and direct them at a specific issue or question.
On 4 June 2020 RWS IP Research COO, Peter Vanderheyden, hosted a webinar alongside Dr Stacy Landry (Study Manager, RWS IP Research) and NJ Thompson (Director of Client Services, IP Research) to discuss the results of the study, how to access the results free and how to use AOP Connect, our online IP research platform, to best utilize and sort the results from the researchers.
In creating the initial study, which differed from the typical collaboration between RWS and a client as this study was created by RWS for the purpose of public benefit, Dr Landry explained: “Initially, I just had to put on my ‘scientist’ hat [borrowing from] my former career as a nucleic acids chemist, and thought about ‘what would a scientist who was trying to find a vaccine or a treatment for COVID-19 do, what would be helpful to them?’ So I thought about the types of documents and the topics that might be useful to scientists and I wrote up a description of the problem to guide the researchers.” With direction and guidance from Dr Landry, RWS researchers mobilized quickly, submitting over 3,600 unique documents in less than a month. According to Dr Landry, the first study had such an overwhelming response that they decided to launch a follow-up study that will continue for another five months. This continuation study has developed into a collaborative effort between RWS and the pharmaceutical researchers currently utilizing the corpus of documents, where, if there is a topic or area that is of particular interest to them, RWS can issue leads directly to the researchers to encourage more searching in that specific area while the search is ongoing.
If you would like to access the webinar and catch-up on anything you may have missed, please click here.
If you are a pharmaceutical company or working close with a company on the development of a treatment or vaccine, you can request access to the study results, for free by clicking here. Even if you currently have an RWS login, you will still need to request special access for this particular study so that we can properly anonymize all users with access from one another.