Research in clinical laboratory science: professionals' involvement.Clin Lab Sci. 2011 Fall; 24(4):235-42.CL
To describe current qualitative and quantitative aspects of research engagement and other scholarly activities conducted by clinical laboratory science (CLS) professionals across a range of employment settings.
A link to a 3-part online survey was sent by electronic mail to 7,572 members of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science and 500 program directors.
email message, on-line survey
all ASCLS members and all directors of accredited clinical laboratory educational programs
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Quantitative and qualitative measures of professionals' engagement in research and other scholarly activities
556 of 7572 (7.3%) persons completed the survey. Thirty-two percent of survey respondents reported spending between 1 to > 40 work hours per week conducting research with 68% of respondents not participating in research activities. Conducting research is an employment requirement for 18% of survey participants. Twenty-nine percent of respondents have published at least one research article, and 47% of respondents who conduct research have published studies in the journal Clinical Laboratory Science. More than 57% of respondents participate in non-research scholarly activities as part of their employment. CLS professionals who conduct research are more likely to do applied, clinical, or educational research than other types of research. Fifty-seven percent of respondents who conduct research lack external funding for their work. Ninety-three percent of total research dollars is obtained by respondents who hold the Ph.D. degree. The perception of the importance of conducting research varies by employment position. Barriers to participation in research include lack of inclusion of research in the job description, time constraints, inadequate research funding, limited opportunity, and lack of space and equipment.
CLS professionals participate in research in limited numbers, and are more likely to engage in non-research types of scholarly activities. Numerous barriers are identified which impose limits to conducting research. Over half of CLS's research efforts lack external funding. Although there was broad representation among participants across educational levels, employment settings, and job positions, the number of survey respondents was limited. Possible directions for future research include conducting this survey using members of additional professional organizations.