Article Title

Using the HCSRN Private Web Portal to Support Collaboration: Project-Based Experiences and User Insights

Publication Date



web portal, project communications


Background/Aims: The Health Care Systems Research Network launched a password-secured web portal (HCSRN Portal) in October 2014 at www.hcsrn.org/share/. The HCSRN Portal allows project teams, scientific interest groups and committees to maintain online work and archival space, with access restricted to project-specific staff. The HCSRN Portal enables the manager of each private portal site to add or remove a variety of functions including a document library, calendar, wiki, blog, discussion board, data lists (e.g. action logs, contact directories, etc.) and quick links. To date, eight collaborative projects have established private project-specific sites within the HCSRN Portal. We describe the basic functionality available in the portal, functionality most used by project teams, and user experience and satisfaction.

Methods: We will survey individual users and site managers of the eight project-specific sites to assess their motivation for establishing a private site in the HCSRN Portal, perceived usefulness of the various portal functions, and perceived pros and cons of the portal overall as well as general user experience, degree of use, desired new or improved features and overall satisfaction with the portal.

Results: The survey is in progress; results are pending.

Conclusion: HCSRN leaders and project teams have desired a private web portal for many years. Now that this resource is available, an evaluation of its utility and general user experience could help enhance uptake and spread of the resource to other HCSRN teams in need of a system for securely sharing information across collaborating sites and identify potential improvements to support project-based use.




June 29th, 2016


August 12th, 2016