Texas Digital Library Conference System, 2016 Texas Conference on Digital Libraries

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The Design and Development of a Integrated Researcher Profile System at Texas A&M to Enrich Scholarly Identity of Faculty
Bruce Herbert, Michael Bolton, Doug Hahn

Last modified: 2016-03-30


Researcher profile systems (RPS) are web-based tools to discover and use research and scholarly information about people and resources. These systems serve as knowledge management systems for the research enterprise as they connect institution-level/enterprise systems, national research networks, publicly available research data (e.g., grants and publications), and restricted/proprietary data by harvesting information from disparate sources into compiled expertise profiles for faculty, investigators, scholars, clinicians, community partners, and facilities.

RPS tools facilitate the development of new collaborations and team science to address new or existing research challenges through the rapid discovery and recommendation of researchers, expertise, and resources.  In addition, data harvested into an RPS is accessible for broad repurposing, especially if available as linked open data (RDF triples). Thus RPS can enhance research support activities by providing data for customized, up-to-date web pages, CV/biosketch generation, and data tables for grant proposals as well as serve the needs of an academic organization.

In 2014, the library started experimenting with VIVO, an open source, semantic researcher profile system available through Duraspace.  VIVO is an open source semantic web application originally developed and implemented at Cornell. When installed and populated with researcher interests, activities, and accomplishments, it enables the discovery of research and scholarship across disciplines at that institution and beyond. VIVO supports browsing and a search function that returns faceted results for rapid retrieval of desired information. Content in any local VIVO installation may be maintained manually, brought into VIVO in automated ways from local systems of record, such as HR, grants, course, and faculty activity databases, or from database providers such as publication aggregators and funding agencies.

As our project continued, we worked on integrating several other tools to create a more useful and compelling system that meets the needs of a range of campus stakeholders.  Our integrated system includes:

VIVO: aggregator of faculty profiles supporting the discovery of expertise and the reuse of profile data.

PLUMX: Plum Analytics is a tool that provides insight into scholarly reputation.  Plum™ Analytics measures metrics for individual research artifacts and aggregates the data labs, departments and other meaningful groups.  The tool collects impact metrics in 5 major categories: usage, captures, mentions, social media, and citations.  Plum Analytics tracks more than 20 different types of artifacts, including journal articles, books, videos, presentations, conference proceedings, datasets, source code, cases, and more.

ORCIDs: a third-party, not for profit organization that provides a platform for the assignment of unique researchers ID numbers.  The primary purpose of ORCID is to provide an authoritative way to differentiate authors with similar names and to unify works by the same author published under different names (e.g., maiden and married names, transliterated names.

Publication and Data Repositories: OAKTrust, TDL data repository, PubMed, etc.

Symplectic Elements: Third-party support for faculty profile data harvesting.

This presentation will cover the use cases identified at Texas A&M, the technical development of our integrated researcher profile system, and our process in working with the Texas A&M community.


researcher profile system, researcher identity