The full description is in the attached file.
This project involves (i) the creation of a database, probably in Microsoft Access 2010, and (ii) the collection of information from websites of organisations to go into that database so as to (iii) analyse the structure and function of twenty scientific societies in the UK. I am interested in benchmarking the way those societies are organised and work, so that they can be more effective by coordinating their efforts and sharing good practice.
This is a straightforward job which initially should take no more than 50 hours. Subsequently, there may be opportunities to further expand the functionality of the database, and increase the information within it through additional hours of work. This project requires common sense and analytical skills as well as the ability to create a well-designed and functional Access database. It should be a simple and straightforward database without any fancy user interface forms and without much complex code. I am open to suggestions of alternative online databases, some of which are cheap or free, but I have moderate expertise in Access already.
My interest is in 20 learned societies in the UK working in the field of biomedical research. All of these organisations belong to the Society of Biology and I will provide a selection from the list at this website [url removed, login to view]
I work for one of those organisations, and am interested in having a better overview of how the sector is organised. Most of this information is qualitative, and will require careful analytical thought to try to turn it into systematic information. These organisations are constantly changing the way they operate, such as their committee structures, and I wish to be able to track these developments over time. Most of the information will come from their websites, including importantly their annual reports. Not all of them display their annual reports on their websites, but these can be gained from the Charity Commission. The most recent annual reports available are usually 2009.
The type of information I wish to collect would include the following: annual turnover going back three years, whether the society runs journals, income and expenditure from journals, number of main meetings per year (typically one or two) with attendance numbers for those meetings, how the main areas of work are described (usually there is a mixture of journals, meetings, education, member services and external relations or public affairs), the names of the committees going back three years, an analysis of what information is available on their website including number of video clips and number of podcasts, the names of their Council members for the last three years, numbers of staff, liaison with external organizations, forthcoming plans, number of press releases issued each year for the last three years, number and descriptions of reports and publications available, main web address, subsidiary websites, hyperlink to Charity Commission webpage, any significant operational or structural changes such as moving office or new Chief Executive, number of staff, pay bracket for top earner, number of members, cost of membership in different categories, names of staff and organisational structure/chart, etc.
I would like, for example, to be able to compare the names of the committees of five largest (in terms of income) learned societies. Or I might want to be able to see income and expenditure on journals for any society which has them. Information should not be altered to fit the database. Rather, the database should allow for notes and comments to explain discrepancies (such as different financial years).
The database is only intended to hold information which is already in the public domain, and therefore there are no issues about confidentiality