Recruiting & training data entry clerks
To secure accurate data entry by recruiting and training data entry clerks.
- Qualification list for recruiting data entry clerks
- Training protocol including requirements regarding intra- and inter-observer agreement
- Training sessions according to the training protocol
- Standard operating procedures for data entry
- Delegation log of delegated tasks filled out and stored in Investigator Site File, & training log signed by trainer and trainees
- Qualification list
- Training protocol
- To set up the qualification list together with the project leader(s);
- To appoint data entry clerks on the basis of a qualification list, drawn-up prior to recruitment;
- To check if a confidentiality agreement is signed
- To train data entry clerks in line with a training protocol, that has been set-up together with the project leader(s) (when new data entry clerks are recruited during the data collection process, it is preferable for these individuals to be trained by the same person who provided the original training);
- To fill out a training and delegation log to document training and delegated
- To inspect the data processed by the entry clerks on a regular basis.
- To schedule regular meetings to discuss questions, provide updates etc.
- To help the executing researcher with putting together the qualification list for the recruitment of the data entry clerks;
- To ensure the executing researcher appoints data clerks on the basis of this qualification list;
- To monitor the training provided by the executing researcher and completeness of logs;
- To check with the executing researcher whether he/she inspects the work of the data entry clerk(s).
- To accurately process the data in the data entry program by following the protocol;
- To ask for any help on time when things aren’t clear or when problems occur.
Despite the fact that the fields to be entered can be defined within modern data entry programs, it is important that the data are entered as standardized as possible. Conscious data entry can rapidly switch over onto automatic pilot. Therefore, it is important that the data entry clerk(s) continue(s) to work in the same way. To motivate the clerks and let them understand the importance of accurate data entry, it is necessary to provide them with extensive guidelines about the data entry screens and the questionnaires to be entered. See Dutch example of such a guideline, and an English example (under Download). Please note that these are examples of a guideline where a specific program (Blaise) was used for the data entry of the questionnaires.
If there are multiple data entry clerks, the mutual differences need to be minimalized. This can be achieved through training (under Download) and mutual coordination between tasks. When repeated measurements (pre/post or T1/T2/T3) over time are conducted, it is advised to process these by the same person.
When new data entry clerks are recruited during the data collection process, it is preferable for these individuals to be trained by the same person who provided the original training. New data entry clerks can also be trained by a good data entry clerk, provided that the original trainer is present during these sessions. This allows the trainer to monitor whether the input process corresponds to the original, approved practice.
During the data entry work, regular meetings are scheduled with the data collectors to provide updates, answers question etc,.
A good data entry clerk for scientific research needs to have a number of specific qualities. When putting up a requirements list for skills that data entry clerks need to have, someone can think of the following:
- Experience with data entry
- Experience with data entry computer programs
- have GCP light qualification
- Experience with data collection in scientific research
- Has knowledge of, or experience with the research topic
- Works accurately
- Asks for help in time, when things aren’t clear or when problems occur
- Works independently.
Appendices (under Download)
- Example data entry guideline for entry clerks (Dutch)
- Example data entry guideline for entry clerks (English)
- Example training protocol for entry clerks (Dutch)
! Please note that these are examples where a specific program (Blaise) was used for the data entry of the questionnaires!