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Showing Cross-Institutional Collaboration in a Research Networking System

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Using OpenSocial, UCSF added a gadget to show co-autors at external institutions within a person's UCSF Profile page.

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Showing Cross-Institutional Collaboration in a Research Networking System

  1. 1. Promoting Cross-Institutional Collaborations By Interlinking Research Networking Systems Eric Meeks, Praveen Angyan, Ed Ward, Aditya Arun Vaidya, Francis Ukpolo, John Burgos, Brian Turner, Leslie Yuan and Katja Reuter Clinical and Translational Science Institute / CTSI Accelerating Research to Improve Health Recognition This project was supported by NIH/NCRR UCSF-CTSI Grant Number UL1 TR000004, SC CTSI Grant Number UL1TR000130 and Harvard Catalyst Grant Number 1 UL1 RR025758-01. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. Introduction UCSF is partnering with USC and two other California research institutions to show researchers’ cross institutional collaborative networks - within their local investigator profile pages. Cross-institutional, regional alliances increase efficiencies and decrease costs by sharing resources and expertise. By exposing the underlying networks, we believe we will be able to strengthen existing and spur new multi-organizational teamwork. We are leveraging the VIVO ontology and Linked Open Data standards to aggregate data from 17 research institutions and link it to researchers’ profiles within UCSF and USC. The effect is to provide users with a richer, more convenient way to discover a researcher’s cross-institutional collaborative networks. The goal of this work is to extend data and functionality for researchers across multiple installations of RNS, without sacrificing institutional provenance and control. Many RNSs are locally installed, which benefits the system by providing credibility through institutional provenance, but research collaborations are not limited to just local institutions. Extending a research networking system across institutions can drastically increase its value. Metcalfe’s Law states that the value of a communication network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users in the system: double the amount of users in your system and you will quadruple your value. In the past five years, UCSF has worked to make research networking systems like VIVO and Profiles more valuable to their hosting institutions and the biomedical research community at large. Extending beyond an institution’s virtual borders is the next logical step in value creation. Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of California, San Francisco Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of Southern California External collaborators are shown directly in a new “Network” section. “See all…” link opens a new page with geographic representation of external research sites and a list of cross-organizational collaborators, with links to coauthored works. External collaborator’s names link directly to their home RNS page, the one with the most institutional provenance. Availability UCSF and USC plan to make this functionality available to the research community via the Open Research Networking Gadget platform, which is integrated to both VIVO and Profiles Research Networking Software. Since this approach leverages Linked Open Data, the VIVO ontology and OpenSocial, this functionality will be available for use by the 50+ research institutions that use current versions of VIVO and Profiles RNS nationwide. How it works