IOM Research Expertise

Information Science for data systems and application development

Information Science for data systems and application development

The IOM’s Information Science team has led or participated in numerous IOM research projects. Ensuring good practice in data management and information security across the IOM, our highly experienced team develop and manage database, desktop, web-based and mobile applications for individual projects and clients.

Our information management skills, combined with scientific backgrounds and specialist knowledge from work in IOM and other research groups provides the necessary experience to manage scientific data and develop applications in all areas of IOM's work, and enables us to efficiently develop the most appropriate systems to meet the needs of the project and client.

Some examples of development areas include the design and implementation of data applications for:

  • Research study design and the implementation of ICT systems for the collection, collation and analysis of datasets from paper, telephone and web-based questionnaire surveys, and recent developments for improved field data collection using smart phones, tablet-based mobile data-entry applications and sensor technology.
  • Database applications for the collection and management of occupational exposure information for hazard management and risk assessment.
  • Data management systems with related analysis and modelling facilities – for example work on exposure databases for chemicals, metals, pesticides and other hazardous substances
  • Collaborative research in exposure data management and modelling for REACH through the Advanced Reach Tool (ART) and its database.
  • The development of a unified coding scheme, user guidance and IT tools for the systematic recording of sickness absence data in SMEs via the SART database developed for the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and adapted and updated in other attendance management software for the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives.
  • Management of complex analytical databases for research purposes in epidemiological studies and effects on human health – for example a pesticides study for DEFRA (linking and analysing large diverse datasets of agricultural records, national food consumption statistical data and food residue testing results), and as principal data managers on several very large collaborative EU projects (e.g. ENPRA, MARINA, SUN and NANOSOLUTIONS) supporting investigations into the health risks and toxicology of engineered nanomaterials (ENM).
  • Development of a mobile application to enable change in outdoor construction workers behaviour in relation to UV light exposure, Vitamin D and raising awareness of Skin cancer. (
  • Design and development of the Stress E-Guide for the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), as part of their campaign on managing stress and psycho-social risks in SMEs (
  • The development of sophisticated asbestos surveying, register management and reporting systems, and associated systems for the assurance of asbestos counting and measurement schemes such as AFRICA.
  • We have developed many one-off databases for specific clients – from simple data collection forms and reports, through to complex interlinked systems.
  • Throughout, appropriate data governance and information security policies and procedures, for the safe keeping and sharing of personal and confidential information are applied.

Application software skills and environment:

Database design and implementation skills are based on over thirty years of combined experience of ICT development for business and the research community. Our main applications and databases are built using several applications and tools such as Microsoft Office integration and automation, SQL Server, Access, ASP.NET PHP, and MySQL, together with generic HTML/CSS, CMS and graphical skills. Programming and analysis is carried out in a variety of packages including .NET technologies Java, and other packages for analysis such as SPSS, SIR, R, Python and Stata.

For more information about our Information Sciences work please contact  Peter Ritchie.