Research paper submissions go paperless

Research Review team
Members of the Research Review Office team, from left: Julie Turbide, Specialist, Quality Assurance Program, Feasibility and Reimbursement of Research Costs Program; Kathleen Blagrave, Specialist, Research Ethics Sub-committee, Medical-biomedical; Felicia Tiseo, Chief of Research Review and Regulatory Affairs and Chair, Feasibility Committee; Marissa Marra, Specialist, Research Ethics Sub-committee, Medical-biomedical; Linda Furlini, Specialist, Research Ethics Sub-committee, First-line Psychosocial.

The Research Review Office (RRO) is headed for some spring cleaning—dismantling the towers of research papers that fill their quarters, to make way for a more streamlined online submission process.

All new research projects must be submitted through Nagano, an online research submission management software adopted by the RRO. Paper submissions will no longer be accepted starting April 1, with the exception of ongoing projects that were turned in prior to that date. The shift is meant to bring the RRO up to speed with other CIUSSS networks throughout Quebec that are using Nagano, says Felicia Tiseo, RRO Chief of Research Review and Regulatory Affairs.

“We’re doing away with some of the inconveniences that came with the outdated submission process, which tended to be excessively paper-heavy,” notes Ms. Tiseo, who is also Chair of the RRO Feasibility Committee. “On any given Wednesday deadline, researchers trudged down our hallways with trolleys full of paper stacks, looking exhausted from photocopying all those sheets.” With Nagano, researchers can submit online at any time and track the status of their multiple projects in one place.

She adds that the online system will make for easier communication between researchers and committee members. “It’s going to speed up our turnaround times and revolutionize the way we talk to one another,” she says. Researchers will no longer need to visit the RRO in person—all communication can happen online through Nagano.

Throughout February and March, training sessions were held at the Jewish General Hospital to acquaint researchers from throughout the CIUSSS with the online platform.

Ms. Tiseo anticipates that the switch will inevitably come with challenges, not just for the researchers, but the review committee members as well, who will now work from tablets. “There’s going to be fear of the unknown—everyone is used to working with paper,” she says. “The first few months are going to be a bit chaotic, but our doors are always open to anyone with questions or concerns.”

Since the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal formed, the RRO team grew more than threefold, from a single research ethics committee of around 30 members, to two committees of approximately 50 members. They are the operational centre for nine research bodies, including the JGH, Mount Sinai Hospital, Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre and the MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre.

As part of the larger network, the RRO has become responsible for reviewing a much broader variety of research, from biomedical-medical, to psychosocial, to geriatric. At any given time, they handle up to 2500 active studies.

“Now each member of our team has an expertise that corresponds specifically to the research being performed in our CIUSSS,” Ms. Tiseo explains. “That way, when it comes time for us to review a project that the researcher has worked on tirelessly, we can ensure that it is approved quickly and upheld to the highest ethical standards.”

Ms. Tiseo says the RRO team expects the move to Nagano will help to further their goal of supporting and generating even more research from our CIUSSS.

For more information, visit the CIUSSS internet site at Home > CIUSSS West-Central Montreal > Research Review Office. Alternately, contact the RRO via email at or by phone, 514-340-8222, extension 22445.

About the RRO

The RRO is responsible for approving, reviewing and monitoring all research conducted within CIUSSS West-Central Montreal that involves human participants. Its committees ensure researchers adhere to all applicable ethical, regulatory and safety standards throughout the life of any given project. Their mandate is to protect research participants, promote meaningful research, and educate researchers and their research teams.