As in many areas of collaborative research, collaboration on orthopaedic research is typically achieved by e-mailing word processed documents and large datasets from clinical trials. The Collaborative Orthopaedic Research Environment (CORE) project developed and deployed a set of Web services that enabled researchers to collaboratively: design an experiment; collate the data, analyse the data, and disseminate the results. The type of experiments the system aimed to support were multi-centred clinical trials that needed to be managed and co-ordinated for a geographically dispersed set of researchers. The investigation into the growth of bone and cartilage also required the use of the Grid, and hence the CORE projected investigated the use of Grid services, using a portal framework and the OMII middleware.

The project was undertaken at the University of Southampton, under strand III of the JISC Circular 05/04.  The project finished in November 2006.

The Collaborative Orthopaedic Research Environment (CORE) was a 24-month project, that built on the work carried out under the Virtual Orthopaedic European University (VOEU) project, an EU IST project funded under framework 5. As part of the VOEU project a Dynamic Review Journal (DRJ) was developed, this tightly integrated system allowed surgeons to collaborate on clinical trials. The CORE project will enhance the DRJ by developing and deploying a Web services based Virtual Research Environment (VRE) demonstrator; that will enable researches to design experiments collaboratively, collect the results and disseminate the findings. In the context of orthopaedics, experiments can be multi-centred clinical trials that involve analysis of large data sets, the documentation needs to be written collaboratively and the experiments will need to be managed and co-ordinated for a geographically disperse set of researchers. The CORE project will develop a Grid/Web services based VRE demonstrator for the benefit of the Higher Education and Further Education communities.

The project provided integrated computer support across the research and educational cycles, these activities are intrinsically coupled as a part of the requirements of the surgeon's Continuing Professional Development. The CORE project allowed surgeons to: create technical material (including non research material for education), analyse data (from their own trials or data entered from journals), investigate hypotheses (from their own work or as meta or thematic reviews), discuss the finding from their or others work, and prepare and submit articles for review.