Colorado PROFILES is a customized web-based networking tool to facilitate collaboration among academic researchers.
Colorado PROFILES goes beyond the display of directory information to encompass all of the professional connections individuals have accrued through their research activities (currently, research activities are limited to those within the University of Colorado). Social networks are formed automatically when individuals share common traits such as similar research interests, co-authorship on a publication, appointments in the same department, or offices or laboratories in the same building. The technology aggregates researcher data from numerous source systems including those operated by HR departments (directory information) and publication data from PubMed. Individuals have the ability to modify their profiles and expand their social network by adding publications and new contacts.
Colorado PROFILES is the University of Colorado's customized version of the Harvard Profiles RNS software 1 .
About the Colorado PROFILES Software and Features
PROFILES Research Networking Software is a research networking and expertise mining software tool. It not only shows traditional directory information, but also illustrates how each person is connected to others in the broad research community.
As you navigate through the website, you will see three types of pages:
Colorado PROFILE Pages
Each person has a Colorado PROFILE Page that includes his or her name, titles, affiliations, and contact information. Faculty can edit their own profiles, add publications, awards, narrative, and a photo. Other objects, such as publications, journals, departments, or concepts can have "profiles". This About page is a "Colorado PROFILE" of the PROFILES Research Networking Software website.
- Passive Networks - Passive networks are formed automatically when faculty share common traits such as being in the same department, working in the same building, co-authoring the same paper, or researching the same concepts or topics. A preview of a person's passive networks is shown on the right side of his or her Colorado PROFILE.
- Active Networks - Active networks are the ones that you define. When users who login to the website view other people's profiles, they can mark those people as collaborators, advisors, or advisees. In other words, you can build your own network of people that you know. Currently, you can only see the networks that you build. In the future you will be able to share these lists with others. Active networks are shown on your left sidebar.
Network Pages show all the people in a particular Passive or Active Network. Networks can also include other types of profiles, not just people. A "concept" network is a list of all the topics a person has written about. There are many ways to display a network other than a simple list, and Colorado PROFILES offers several types of network visualization tools.
Certain Network Pages will include a "Why?" link. These will take you to a Connection Page, which shows why two people or profiles in that network are connected. For example, the Why link in a co-authorship network lists the publications that two people wrote together. The Connection Pages also reveal why certain people appear higher on search results and why particular concepts are highlighted on a person's Colorado PROFILE.
PROFILES Research Networking Software includes several different ways to view networks, including (from left to right) Concept Clouds, which highlight a person's areas of research; Map Views, which show where a person's co-authors are located; Publication Timelines, which graph the number of publications of different types by year; Radial Network Views, which illustrate clusters of connectivity among related people; and Concept Timelines, which depict how a person's research focus has changed over time.
1 Profiles Research Networking Software was developed under the supervision of Griffin M Weber, MD, PhD, with support from Grant Number 1 UL1 RR025758-01 to Harvard Catalyst, The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center from the National Center for Research Resources and support from Harvard University and its affiliated academic healthcare centers.