RESEARCH in Qatar has been given a major boost by the creation of a website containing extensive information from research projects in a variety of fields over the past 30 years.
Officials at Qatar Foundation officially launched the new website for Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) and the Biannual National Research Survey (BNRS) at a ceremony yesterday, with the launch being described as a major step forward in the field of research and a “testament to the scientific accomplishments” of Qatar.
Qatar Foundation research adviser, Amer al-Saady, officially launched the new website before inaugurating the BNRS database as well.
The aim of the site is to provide an online resource where all data regarding published research papers from academic, government and private organisations in various fields are stored.
A spokesperson explained the mission statement of the research fund as aiming to “advance knowledge and education by supporting original, competitively selected research in the physical, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; the arts, and humanities. It will provide opportunities for researchers at all levels, from students to professionals, in the private, public and academic sectors.”
Director of QNRF, Abdul Sattar al-Taie introduced the new website, explaining the information that will be available includes some 4,600 records, and describing the site as “useful as a reference point and an invaluable tool for the measurement of the impact of growth in the country.”
Guests were then given a demonstration of the site by the support services manager, Mahmoud Talaat who described how each section works.
BNRS project manager, Imad Khadduri then made a presentation about the database, describing how users can access the site and search the entire collection by words as well as by specific fields such as organisation name or area of interest.
He explained that the database has been formed primarily with research from Qatar University and the General Secretariat for Development and Planning (GSDP) reaching back as early as the 1970s.
“When we first started to collect data we put forms on the site before sending out the forms to a wide variety of organisations and receiving a very positive response,” he said, adding that the aim of the site was to provide an indexed collection of the information received.
He described the criteria for inclusion on the site, explaining that at least one of the paper’s authors must have an affiliation with Qatar for it to be added.
The QNRF currently runs the National Priorities Research Programme, which awarded US$25mn to projects in its first cycle, as well as the Undergraduate Research Experience Programme, which has involved 530 students since its launch in 2006.
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