Hi everyone, I’m Ben Meghreblian and I’m the new Community Manager for OpenTrials. I come from a background in IT and psychology, having moved to science communications and campaigns work in the last few years. Most recently I worked on the AllTrials campaign, also led by Ben Goldacre, which advocates for greater transparency in clinical trials. During my time at AllTrials I was involved in building networks of supporters, writing blogs relating to clinical trials and transparency, and supporting European lobbying efforts. My work in psychology was mostly in the clinical psychology field, researching and supporting therapeutic work in adult mental health.

As Community Manager I’ll be wearing quite a few hats, but in essence I want as many people as possible to know about OpenTrials, get them or their organisation involved with the project, listen to their feedback, and help create an amazing tool which will be used around the world! On a daily basis I’ll be talking to people online, meeting people face to face, running workshops, and attending events.

Moving forward, we’ll use this blog, Twitter, and our newsletter to deliver regular updates to keep you informed about the progress of the OpenTrials platform. These will include perspectives from people like you on why we need OpenTrials, information on user testing/feedback, and upcoming events including hackathons and workshops.

Ultimately we are building something for a community of researchers, doctors, patient groups, medical professionals and everyone else who will use OpenTrials, so it’s important we get those people’s views throughout the project. We want to understand the difficulties they face, research questions they want to ask of a platform like OpenTrials, and what opportunities there may be to design OpenTrials to make possible new things that can’t currently be done.

If you’d like to find out more, read Ben Goldacre’s recent blog or paper explaining our current vision for OpenTrials. There’s also a video of Ben talking through OpenTrials. Whichever you read or watch, please give us feedback!

Open Science Prize

Exciting news! As you may have read in the recent blog post, OpenTrialsFDA, a project we’re collaborating on with Ben Goldacre and Erick Turner, has been selected as a finalist for the Open Science prize! We’re really excited about working on a prototype and demoing it later this year. More details about the prize here, or watch Ben explain it in this 2min video we submitted as part of our successful bid.

Get involved!

Here are five ways you can get involved now:

  1. Subscribe to our newsletter – takes 10 seconds and you’ll get all the latest OpenTrials news straight to your inbox.
  2. Follow us on Twitter: @OpenTrials and RT anything relevant to your followers.
  3. Have a look at our discussion forum and see if there are any topics you can help with, or questions you have about the project.
  4. Write a short (or long) blog piece for us – tell us why OpenTrials is important to you and how you’ll use it. Drop me a line and let’s discuss.
  5. Tell your colleagues, networks, and friends about OpenTrials – we want to build a diverse network across multiple domains and around the world.

We’re currently looking for people who want to get involved by attending a hackathon (location tbc, probably in Europe) – if you’re interested in having early access to test the platform and help shape its development, please get in touch.

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