Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Help Desks aim to provide best service to researchers

Just months after the launch of the Fifth Framework Programme, researchers are still getting to know the new set-up, but nevertheless need to get as much information on activities in their field as possible, to ensure that they don't miss opportunities.

Even though CORDIS pro...
Just months after the launch of the Fifth Framework Programme, researchers are still getting to know the new set-up, but nevertheless need to get as much information on activities in their field as possible, to ensure that they don't miss opportunities.

Even though CORDIS provides a huge range of information on EU research activities through its website and databases, occasionally users may not be able to find the exact details they need or may experience technical difficulties in retrieving them. To assist users in getting their desired information as quickly and easily as possible, the CORDIS Help Desk provides a team of dedicated experts ready to respond to users' questions.

Nevertheless, when a question concerns specific details of an individual programme, the information desks set up by each programme may be better placed to provide the answer. A recent meeting of representatives from all of these different Help Desks aimed specifically to develop cooperation and foster a better understanding of their respective interests and capabilities. The underlying goal is to provide the best possible service to researchers from across Europe, so that whoever they address their queries to - whether by e-mail, fax or telephone - they will receive the fullest, most accurate answer as quickly as possible.

The CORDIS Help Desk aims to answer questions relating to the use of CORDIS, for example where users have difficulty in connecting to the site, navigating within it, or in downloading documents. If possible the Help Desk will provide the answer or technical advice within 48 hours, and will always notify the user in cases where the enquiry requires further investigation and cannot be answered immediately. Many questions concerning information on CORDIS can be answered by the Help Desk team themselves, either by pointing users to the appropriate page or from their own knowledge. However, some questions require more detailed answers, and these are best provided by the specialised staff of the individual programme help desks. Likewise these help desks may receive technical questions which may be best answered by the CORDIS Help Desk.

By developing greater contact and understanding between the CORDIS Help Desk and the programmes' help desks, users will benefit from a more effective assistance service, with a single query providing a response with all relevant information and advice. The CORDIS Help Desk receives around 1,000 queries per month from researchers from all over Europe. The most common questions tend to relate to administrative information, and advice on programme participation and where to obtain specific documentation for particular programmes.

Source: CORDIS Help Desk

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