Showing Cross-Institutional Collaboration in a Research Networking System
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
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.
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
with links to coauthored works.
External collaborator’s names link
directly to their home RNS page, the
one with the most institutional
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
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