Nancy Tait viewed her organisation as an asbestos action group with a research agenda, rather than simply a victims support group. This perception is very much in line with the charity's trust deed, which lists research into the causes, prevention and treatment of asbestos related disease as its primary objective.
By the mid-1970s, the investigations Nancy Tait had begun following her husband's death in 1968 earned her a fellowship from the Churchill Trust, which allowed her to travel and to seek out international specialists in person. She began to publish her own asbestos literature and to testify as an expert witness, initially on the strength of her intimate knowledge of the impact of a mesothelioma diagnosis, but also of her readings, her exchanges with medical and environmental authorities, and her sheer determination to get to the bottom of how asbestos operated on the human body over time.
As SPAID / OEDA developed, Nancy Tait's investigations drew also on a growing knowledge base of case histories, with detailed medical and legal information. From 1988 onwards that knowledge base was enriched by the evidence provided by the SPAID electron microscope laboratory.
There are four series:
- Research correspondence
- Expert testimony and consulting
- Mesothelioma mortality and death certification
- Criticism of fibre counting
These are followed by smaller aggregations.
Other types of research (e.g. legal, health & safety, industrial injury claims-related, and so forth) can be found throughout the collection, in particular in Sections E (Advocacy) and F (Networking). Research outputs are in OEDA/C/2 (Publications by SPAID / OEDA).