The Power of Research Networking Systems to Find Experts and Facilitate Collaboration
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With scientific teams in recent years becoming increasingly interdisciplinary and multi-institutional, searching for collaborators is more challenging than ever before. To address this problem, there has been a rapid emergence of “research networking systems” (RNSs) that help users identify investigators with particular areas of expertise, affiliations, interests, resources, or other characteristics. The goal of this chapter is to provide organizations with an overview of the capabilities of RNSs, the wide range of use cases, and techniques for successfully implementing RNSs and encouraging their adoption. It draws from our own personal experiences of building an open-source RNS and installing and enhancing it at several institutions. We touch upon the many obstacles we have faced along the way, ranging from specific issues related to privacy and data quality, to larger questions about the overall impact and return on investment from RNSs. We conclude with an overview of the current state of RNSs and where they will be heading in the future.
KeywordsResearch networking Expert finder Team building Profiles RNS VIVO Social network Data visualization Website Adoption Governance
This work was conducted with support from Harvard Catalyst | The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center and the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute (National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health Awards UL1 TR001102 and UL1 TR001872) and financial contributions from Harvard University and its affiliated academic healthcare centers. Additional funding was provided by National Institutes of Health awards UL1TR000004, DP4GM096852, R01GM111563, and U01GM112623 and National Science Foundation awards #1238469 and #1360042. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of Harvard Catalyst, Harvard University and its affiliated academic healthcare centers, UCSF, the National Institutes of Health, or the National Science Foundation.
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