Monday, September 30, 2013

Online Scholarly Sources for Researchers

Search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo may be more than adequate for general web searches, but for our clients who work diligently in research, medicine and academia, more scholar-focused databases are desired.

The following four scholarly sources - each with their own different advantages and disadvantages - are repositories of academic papers, studies, and peer-reviewed research literature:

Google Scholar

 

Google’s very own database of scholarly literature is relatively new, but nonetheless has an expansive catalog. You can browse by discipline and filter out general magazine, newspaper, and blog posts. However, full-text versions of many recently indexed papers are only available if you pay a fee. | Find it here.

Microsoft Academic Search

 

Microsoft’s own academic search engine provides tools to help researchers explore and visualize scholarly content in different ways. For instance, both graphical and snippet views of citations are available. Limitations to the database exist, however. Unlike Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic Search does not index legal documents. | Find it here.

PubMed

 

PubMed is a vast online database of citations for biomedical literature, making it the go-to option for those in the field of medical research. While PubMed contains more than 20 million articles, free access is not fully available for all. | Find it here.

Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

 

As the name suggests, this collaborative project consists of specialized research networks in each of the social sciences. Hundreds of different subject areas are covered, with nearly 500,000 scholarly working papers available. Author-submitted content on SSRN is freely downloadable with no user fees. | Find it here.


Visit our main website for more information about our research management platform, RMS360°.  Contact us at any time at 1-866-239-0991 or info@smartsimple.com.

Friday, September 27, 2013

SmartSimple's September 2013 Upgrade

Our September 2013 upgrade is live! Read on for a complete rundown of the latest enhancements, features and upgrades that have been added to your SmartSimple system this month.



Consolidation of Submit Logic Failure Messages 
In order to help end users complete forms with multiple Submit Logic validations, SmartSimple will now display all alert messages configured with Submit Logic into a consolidated alert window.

Recently Viewed Objects
A new right-hand panel titled "Recent" is now available, which displays your most recently viewed records. To display this panel, simply enable the settings through Manager Permissions.

Scheduling Reports
Reports can now be scheduled to run daily, weekly, or monthly. These reports can be configured to store custom field values to SmartSimple records, which allows for the periodic aggregation of data. This feature is available to all System Administrators.

Basing Summary Cross-tab on Standard Fields (Arcadia)
If you are using SmartSimple's next generation interface, Arcadia, you can now use the Summary Matrix to configure the cross-tabs of your reports. Previously, the default display of the cross-tabbed view used an application's statuses as column headings and templates as the row headings.

With the September 2013 upgrade, System Administrators can enable Customer, Branch, Person, and Owner standard fields to be used as alternate cross-tab headings.

Setting the Column Alignment in Report Builder
Columns in reports can now be set in the Report Builder to be left-, right- or center-aligned without resorting to custom HTML.

IRS/CRA/OFAC Automated Checking
The SmartSimple system can now be configured to perform automated verification of contact records, as well as organization records, against the OFAC database. Additionally, the settings page to configure the automatic verification of records against the IRS/CRA/OFAC online databases has been simplified.

Read the Upgrades article on our Wiki for more information about the current upgrade or previous enhancements.

Have any questions about the September upgrade and how it can benefit your system? Don't hesitate to contact us at support@smartsimple.com or 1-866-239-0991. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chin's Musings - How to Update a Field

Welcome to another installment of Chin's Musings! In this series, Systems Controller Chin Chuah will create helpful rundowns of various system features and processes to help you better understand the SmartSimple platform.

SmartSimple is continually becoming more robust and enhanced with new features. This sometimes results in the ability to configure the same end functionality through the use of a variety of different techniques. This post will help you decide on the best approach for your situation by discussing different ways to update a field value.

Default Text

This is the simplest way to store a value into a field. Default Text is configured through the custom field settings page for open text input fields such as Text Box - Single Line. This setting works by populating the input field on the form with the specified default value when a field does not already have a value stored in it. This requires the user to save the form to actually save the field value.

Advantages:
  • Simple and efficient.
  • Flexibility offered through custom field configuration. This can be used as a one-time store to prevent users from editing the default field value. This can be hidden/shown on page, or alternatively allow users to edit the default field value.
  • Visibility. Users can see the field and verify the default value before it is actually saved and stored into the field. 

Calculated Value Field

This is a way to update a field based upon an expression that is run on 'page load'. This applies only to the Special - Calculated Value custom field type. This setting is configured using Javascript syntax and works by populating the input field on the form with the specified expression every time the form is loaded. This requires the user to save the form to actually save the field value.

Advantages:
  • Simple and efficient.
  • Complex calculations can be performed via Javascript syntax.
  • Sequential processing. On a page load, each Calculated Value field is evaluated in the order of their display order.
  • Visibility. Users can see the field and verify the default value before it is actually saved and stored into the field.

Value Stores To

This is a way to duplicate a field value and store it into another field. This is configured through the custom field settings page. This setting works by duplicating a field value into another field anytime the first field is saved. This requires the user to save a value into the first field.

Advantages:
  • Simple and efficient
  • Synchronization. In the case that you have multiple fields that represent the same data set, this can be used to synchronize the values between these fields.
  • Transparency (i.e. works behind the scenes).

Template Formula

Template formulas update a field value behind the scenes. They are available in various areas and can be configured through Universal Tracking Application settings page, User Roles, or Company Categories pages. This setting is configured using MySQL syntax and works by directly updating the stored value of a field. This requires the user to save the form and runs after the form is saved thereby referencing the latest field values that were saved.

Advantages:
  • Ability to update different areas other than the form the user is directly on (e.g. a L2 formula can be used to update an L1 field).
  • Server-side validity. This can be used for date/time functions to reference server time at exact time of saving.
  • Complex calculations can be performed via MySQL syntax.
  • Sequential processing. For instance, you can save L3 results in L3 formulas, then L2 formulas, then L1 formulas to be run consecutively. Also, within a template formula block, each individual line is processed consecutively. This enables you to update a field value in one line, and then reference the new field value in the next line.
  • Transparency (i.e. works behind the scenes).

Workflow Update Custom Field Task

This is a way to update a field value behind the scenes. This is configured as a task within a workflow and requires the workflow to be triggered against the object whose field you wish to update.

Advantages:
  • Ability to update different areas other than the form the user is directly on.
  • Server-side validity. This can be used for date/time functions to reference server time at exact time of workflow run time.
  • Inherent audit trail of when the workflow was triggered and who triggered it.
  • Sequential processing (i.e. the ability to process other workflow tasks before or after). Note: while workflow tasks run sequentially, the workflows themselves run asynchronously on the server.
  • Transparency (i.e. works behind the scenes).

Learn more about field values by reading the SmartSimple Wiki. Contact us at info@smartsimple.com or visit our main website  for more information.

Monday, September 23, 2013

SmartSimple's 5 Best Apps for Social Good

Most people think of smartphone apps as mindless diversions or casual games. However, many startups and organizations have created apps in the hopes of aiding social good and inspiring others for the digital age.

Check out these five ways you can carry your favorite causes in your pocket:

GoodGuide

WebsiteiTunes Store | Google Play

This consumer-conscious app makes use of your smartphone’s camera to scan product barcodes and instantly rate it based on health, safety, environmental and social responsibility factors. Detailed information about the social responsibility of various consumer brands is also available in-app.

Ushahidi 

Website | iTunes Store

Designed to keep the public current with information on protests, civil unrest, and global events, Ushahidi is a crowdsourced app used by activists, reporters and the general public worldwide. Information is displayed via an interactive map for easy access to the regions that matter most you.

The Extraordinaries

Website | iTunes Store

The Extraordinaries app is at the forefront of a new digital movement: ‘micro-volunteering’. In your spare time, you can help complete various social tasks such as reporting pollution or potholes, translating text, or tagging photos (the last of which has been used to locate survivors in Haiti).

ONE

Website | iTunes Store

ONE is a nonpartisan advocacy and campaigning organization with an accompanying iPhone app that tracks news and events related to fighting poverty. You can even communicate with other users and friends using the app to help raise awareness.

PayItForward

Website | iTunes Store | Google Play

The PayItForward app sends you daily suggestions for simple, effective and fun acts of kindness. Track your progress and share acts with your fellow PayItForward users. As with the movie of the same name, the purpose behind the app is to motivate and spread good deeds within your community.


Do you use a mobile app not on the list? Reply with a comment below or tweet @SmartSimpleSaaS with the hashtag #apps4socialgood and let us know!

For more information about SmartSimple or our grants management software GMS360°, visit our main website or contact us at info@smartsimple.com.


SmartSimple is attending the Fall Conference for Community Foundations from September 22-25, 2013 in San Diego, California. Read our announcement for more information about this exciting event!

Friday, September 20, 2013

SmartSimple to Attend CASRAI Reconnect 13

SmartSimple is pleased to announce that we will be attending the second annual CASRAI International Conference, titled Reconnect: Big Data 13. This exciting event will take place October 16-18, 2013 at the Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottawa, Ontario.

This conference will examine the role of research administration practices and information sharing in supporting knowledge discoveries and innovations. Presentations and session topics will focus on further advancing the methods to better connect the research and innovation ecosystem.

SmartSimple will be participating as a Silver-level sponsor. Teresa Clarke (Director of Research Solutions) and David Resnick (Product Marketing Manager) will represent SmartSimple and be on hand to demonstrate RMS360°, our signature research management software solution.

About CASRAI
The Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information is a non-profit organization that develops standards for diverse research organizations to work together.

CASRAI works to ensure that the research community benefits from the standardization of research data. This saves researchers time, and creates a clearer picture as to how research impacts society. Learn more about CASRAI by visiting their website.

Want more information on the Reconnect 13 Conference? Check the official site for the full agenda of speakers, session topics, presentations and workshops.

Read more about our research management solution RMS360° at our main website and be sure to contact us at info@smartsimple.com or 1-866-239-0991 to set up an opportunity to speak with us at CASRAI Reconnect 13.

SmartSimple will also be attending the Fall Conference for Community Foundations from September 22-25, 2013 in San Diego, California. Read our announcement for more information about this exciting opportunity!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

SmartSimple is Attending the 2013 Fall Conference for Community Foundations

SmartSimple is excited to announce that we will be attending the Fall Conference for Community Foundations.

This three-day event will take place September 22-25, 2013 and will be hosted by the Council on Foundations (COF) at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, California.

SmartSimple will be participating as an exhibitor, with Todd Lapin (Director of Strategic Accounts) and Sarah Jane Nicholson (Relationship Manager) as our intrepid representatives.

We will be showcasing our GMS360º for community foundations. GMS360º enables community foundations to manage grants and donations, match donor interests to grants, manage any number of funds and track relationships with donors, grantees, staff, subject matter experts, and other stakeholders.

You can visit our website to learn more about our grants management software solution.

Stop by our booth for a chat or email sales@smartsimple.com to arrange a discussion about how SmartSimple and GMS360º will benefit you.

To learn more about the COF Conference, please visit their conference website.

Chin's Musings - Configuration Tips

Welcome to another installment of Chin's Musings! In this series, Systems Controller Chin Chuah will create helpful rundowns of various system features and processes to help you better understand the SmartSimple platform.

Let's learn about some common issues encountered when configuring SmartSimple.

Workflows Not Firing
  1. Ensure that the workflow has connectors between the tasks. There needs to be a start and end (or connection) to another workflow.
  2. When using branching logic within task connectors, ensure that every outcome and possibility is accounted for in your conditions and that each condition is mutually exclusive from each other. Do not overlap logical conditions with each other.
  3. Ensure that the object you're triggering the workflow on is enabled for it. For example, Universal Tracking Application L1 templates need to have workflows enabled and specific association workflows selected. Companies need to select specific company/contact workflows.
  4. Multiple workflows cannot be configured to trigger off a single status.
  5. Ensure there is no malformed or incorrect syntax used within the task connectors or workflow routing (i.e. routing of an acknowledgement task).

Variable Processor

  1. Ensure that any variables referenced in the system are always encapsulated within double quotes.
  2. Certain syntax such as [#(?object=)#] is malformed, it will result in displaying a completely blank page.
  3. Ensure there are no mismatched syntax tags such as sslogic embedded within each other, or missing sslogic end tags. When embedding different syntax (e.g. sslogic, sscalculation, or system variables) make sure you understand the SmartSimple Order of Operations to configure these appropriately.
  4. Be mindful of all the possible return values for a variable. When a value has never been saved to a field, the variable syntax itself will be returned (i.e. @variable@). A variable may also return a blank empty string. The variable processor will also take field formatting into account and, by default, returns a field's configured format such as currency or date format. This needs to be considered when manipulating the value.

Javascript vs. MySQL Syntax

  1. Javascript syntax is used in areas that are displayed on the browser to the user. Custom field settings for Javascript Validation, Special Calculated Value custom fields, and Special Browser Script fields are a few examples.
  2. MySQL syntax is used in behind the scenes areas not displayed to the user. Template Formulas, Submit Logic, custom field Visibility Logic are a few examples.
  3. The Javascript equality operator is a double equal sign (==) whereas MySQL is just a single equal sign (=).
  4. String (text) values need to be encapsulated within quotes (double quotes are the safest), hence the suggestion to always encapsulate Variable Processor calls within quotes.

Learn more about system configuration by reading the SmartSimple Wiki. Contact us at info@smartsimple.com or visit our main website  for more information.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

SmartSimple’s Research Management Solutions

Director of Research Solutions Teresa Clarke provided an enlightening presentation to fellow SmartSimple staff in August regarding our research management solutions and how they relate to the needs of funding agencies and researchers.

Funding agencies and their processes are informally motivated by three groups: the government, the public, and the researcher. The agency needs to be held accountable to the government, and to provide them with solid outcomes and an ROI (Return on Investment).

Researchers require a funding agency to have an easy application process, fair reviews and a flow of funds. Agencies also mind public-facing aspects such as marketing and media image.

The different types of funding agencies discussed:
  • Global – Bill and Melina Gates Foundation, JDRF
  • National – Genone Canada, Science Foundation Ireland
  • Provincial/State – Ontario Centres of Excellence, Ontario Min. of Agriculture & Food
  • Institute – Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, BC Genome Sciences Centre
  • Disease-Focused – Autism Speaks, Canadian Arthritis Society
  • Multiple Agencies – Health Research Alliance, National Collegiate Innovators Alliance
The needs of funding agencies are largely the same across all specializations. Many still use inefficient word processors and systems that are poorly implemented or planned. Multiple and unconnected systems are used as well, complicating an already complicated process.

Next, Teresa discussed what these agencies required from both a research management solution and its vendor:
  • A system that is authentic to the research process;
  • Secure, online funding management;
  • A flexible application and review process;
  • Access to personalized portals;
  • Streamlined processes via workflows;
  • Impact and outcome reporting capabilities; 
  • A vendor with a proven record of success.
In the end, the goal of SmartSimple is to meet and exceed all of these needs with our RMS360° platform.

For more of Teresa’s research management solution presentation, view or download the PowerPoint file from Slideshare:

Visit our website to learn more about our research management system RMS360° or contact us at info@smartsimple.com. For more articles relating our research solutions and system management, check out our Wiki page.

SmartSimple Sponsors Chambers Ireland Corporate Social Responsibility Awards

SmartSimple is pleased to announce we'll be sponsoring this year's Chambers Ireland Corporate Social Responsibility Awards. The event will take place on September 12, 2013 in Dublin, Ireland.

These awards recognize the work being carried out by Irish and multinational companies to improve the lives of their employees and to enhance the civic environment in which they operate. 

Awards will be given in several categories, including:
  • Excellence in Community - Partnership with Charity
  • Excellence in Environment
  • Excellence in CSR Communication
  • Excellence in International CSR
  • Outstanding Achievement in CSR
Please visit the Chambers Ireland main website for more information about these awards and to view all shortlisted candidates.

SmartSimple provides an innovative management solution for the granting, research, and corporate social responsibility efforts of foundations all over the world. Our established Irish and international user base spans governmental, commercial, and semi-state organizations.

For more information about SmartSimple or our involvement with Corporate Social Responsibility, contact us at info@smartsimple.com or visit our main website.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Arthur's WikiPeeks - 8/30/13

Technical Community Support member Arthur Lathrop will be updating us on new and updated articles of interest in the SmartSimple Wiki! Check back every week for a new installment of Arthur's WikiPeeks.
  1. New Wiki Category: SmartSimple Microsoft Outlook Synchronization
    The instructions previously available for download in PDF format have been updated and broken out into component pages.
  2. Primary Role
    A new article has been posted on the ability to pass a parameter for a role ID with the login URL. This is a useful method for testing role-based permissions.
  3. Holiday Calendar
    Instructions on how to use the Holiday Calendar feature, and associated variables (busdateadd() and isHoliday() functions), have been updated.
  4. Session Time
    A new article has been posted to answer one of our clients’ frequently asked questions: 'How is Session Time measured?'.
  5. Template Page
    A new article has been created to describe the uses and configuration for Template Pages (sometimes referred to as "external pages").
Questions? Comments? Don't hesitate to contact us at 1-866-239-0991, email us at info@smartsimple.com, or visit our main website.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New Video: Data Exchange Enhancements and Settings

Data exchange is an essential feature of our case management system. This feature enables the instantaneous exchange of status updates, contact details, notes, appointments, and other crucial information between medical practices and insurance adjusters using SmartSimple. 


Our newest video describes two new enhancements of the data exchange ability:
  1. Exchange History - This new tab displays all incoming and outgoing exchanges including the exchange status of a Claim and/or Assessment.
  2. Data Exchange Statuses - You can now control the exchange of Assessments. This means that an Assessment is only sent back to an Insurer once it has reached a client-defined point in the process.
Additionally, the video covers how to configure the data exchange statuses in your SmartSimple system.

For more information on data exchange, case management or SmartSimple, please contact us at info@smartsimple.com or 1-866-239-0991.