Research In Action

Research In Action

Make Use of Child Traumatic Stress Data With "Paper in a Day"
April 11, 2023

Last November, our team used data from the Prospective studies of Acute Child Trauma and Recovery (PACT/R) Data Archive for a “Paper in a Day” workshop as part of the 38th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress in Atlanta. Paper in a Day (PiaD) is a collaborative research project by and for early career researchers from around the world. These projects were made possible by the work of the Global Collaboration on Traumatic Stress, a worldwide network of researchers and clinicians working together on traumatic stress topics of global importance.

Why Paper in a Day?

Early career investigators lead the projects; graduate student and early career researchers apply to participate. Our team was comprised of eight participants from five countries (US, Norway, Korea, Australia, and Israel) who shared similar academic and professional backgrounds. The workshop, typically scheduled the day before a large international conference, is designed to be one intensely focused day. But the “day” extends before and after the workshop. We worked together ahead of time to prepare data, conduct preliminary literature review, and draft research questions and outlines; after the meeting, we completed analyses and wrote and submitted the paper for publication.

Paper in a Day brings together young researchers from around the world with the purpose of conducting novel research and building connections.

Sharing Is Caring

The very essence of PiaD lies in the researchers’ sharing time, resources, skills, ideas, and data, and working together to bring this knowledge together. Life as a young researcher includes many hours and days of independent (and sometimes lonely) work. Working jointly with others in this way was therefore refreshing and inspired us both during and after the conference.

Sharing data requires an investment of time and resources, especially if the goal is to share it in a FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) way – embodying the FAIR data principles. In a similar way, in order to create (most of) the paper that emerged from PiaD, and to maximize the day’s potential, our team had to “do our homework” beforehand. By properly preparing and then giving organizers and participants the space and freedom to make choices and be creative on the day itself, the experience is very meaningful.

Having laid the groundwork beforehand accelerated the collaborative process when our PiaD team finally met in person and led to lots of brainstorming and creating a meaningful research product together. Participating in the PiaD workshop also gave us additional networking and collaboration opportunities following the conference.

Paper in a Day and the PACT/R Data Archive: A Great Match!

Since the PiaD workshop nearly always involves finding and using existing data in some way, both of this year’s projects used secondary data analysis – integrating data from existing resources to answer novel questions. The PACT/R Data Archive is a collaborative international effort to enable researchers to better examine the nature and course of children’s responses to acute trauma exposure by combining data from multiple studies in the field.

In our PiaD project, we used data from 8 studies (all part of the PACT/R Data Archive) to newly examine patterns of Post-Traumatic Stress and Depression responses in parents of children following an acute traumatic event; the manuscript is currently under review. This is the second time that "Paper in a Day" is making use of PACT/R data; the first time was during the 2019 European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS) meeting in Rotterdam. Read the paper here.

From our experience, the international collaboration built into PiaD added to the value of integrating data from multiple studies and countries to generate new insights. This project shows how sharing and re-use of mental health research data can accelerate collaboration and knowledge development, helping to inform policy decisions and support evidence-based intervention strategies.