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Jargon Description

Data is the information collected through research. It can include written information, numbers, sounds and pictures. It is usually stored on computer, so that it can be analysed, interpreted and then communicated to others, e.g. in reports, graphs or diagrams.

Data Analysis

Analysis involves examining and processing research data, in order to answer the questions that the project is trying to address. It involves identifying patterns and drawing out the main themes, and is often done with specialist computer software.

Data Monitoring Committee

A committee that may be established by the sponsor to assess at intervals, the progress of a clinical trial, the safety data, and the critical efficacy endpoints, and to recommend to the sponsor whether to continue, modify, or stop a trial.

Data Protection

All personal information is protected in the UK by the Data Protection Act (1998). This means that researchers have to put in all the necessary safeguards to protect the confidentiality of the information they collect about research participants. They should explain in the patient information sheet how the participants’ data will be collected, how it will be stored securely, what it will be used for, who will have access to the data that identifies participants, how long it will be kept, how it will be disposed of securely.

Day Surgery

Minor surgery that does not require the patient to stay in hospital overnight.

Delegation Log

A list of appropriately qualified persons to whom the investigator has delegated significant trial related duties. Sponsors/host organisations will usually provide a template for the Delegation Log and researchers should check with their NHS R&D office if any ‘preferred template’ is available.


The branch of medicine concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders.

Diagnostic Tests

Blood or urine tests, X-rays, ultrasound and other imaging techniques that help clinicians see what is happening inside the body to help them diagnose a patient condition.


Dissemination involves communicating the findings of a research project to a wide range of people who might find it useful. This can be done through producing reports (often these are made available on the Internet), publishing articles in journals or newsletters, issuing press releases, giving talks at conferences. It is also important to feedback the findings of research to research participants.

District Nurses

Are senior nurses in the United Kingdom's National Health Service who manage care within the community, leading teams of community nurses and support workers, as well as visiting house-bound patients to provide advice and care such as palliative care and wound management.

Double Blind

A trial where the investigators and the subjects included in the trial (healthy volunteers or patients) do not know which interventions / treatments have been assigned.