The Global Andrology Forum (GAF): Structure, Roles, Functioning and Outcomes: An Online Model for Collaborative Research: Structure, Roles, Functioning and Outcomes: An Online Model for Collaborative Research

Global Andrology Forum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: There are no published examples of a global online research collaborative in andrology. We describe the development, profile and member characteristics of the first consortium of this type, the Global Andrology Forum (GAF).
Materials and Methods: An online survey sent to all GAF members collected demographic information (sex, age, experience, academic title, degrees, country, specialty, profession). It also tapped data on members’ characteristics e.g., skills in research, software and statistics; preferred activities; time commitments; expected roles; and interest in participating in research, in GAF’s scientific activities and collaborative online research. The findings were analyzed and tabulated. We outline members’ demographic and professional characteristics and scientific achievements to date. A narrative approach outlined GAF’s structure and functioning.
Results: A total of 418 out of 540 members completed the survey and were included in the analysis (77.4% response rate). The sample comprised mainly urologists (34.2%) and a third of the respondents had practiced for >15 years (33.3%). Up to 86.1% of the members expressed interest in being actively engaged in writing scientific articles. A third of the sample (37.1%) could dedicate 4 to 6 hours/week. Few respondents reported skills in statistics and artwork (2.6% and 1.9% respectively). Members were assigned to specific roles based on their expertise and experiences. Collaborative working ensured the timely completion of projects while maintaining quality. For outcomes, GAF published 29 original articles within one year of its creation, with authors from 48 countries spanning topics that included varicocele, sperm DNA damage, oxidative stress, semen analysis and male infertility, oocyte/embryo, and laboratory issues of assisted reproductive technique (ART) and male infertility evaluation.
Conclusions: GAF is a successful global online andrology research model. A healthy number of scientific articles have been published. Given such effectiveness, adopting the GAF model could be useful for other disciplines that wish to create and coordinate successful international online research groups.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere61
JournalWorld Journal of Men?s Health
Volume41
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Andrology
  • Education
  • Group Structure
  • Organizations
  • questionnaires
  • Research
  • Surveys

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