Collaboration Station

TRIbune Profiles Illustration-lg

 

 Discover Your Next Collaborator With UAMS Profiles

Finding collaborators doesn’t have to be a scavenger hunt. UAMS Profiles, a new online research networking tool, eliminates the mystery and the miles separating researchers from potential collaborators.

Created at Harvard University, Profiles was obtained and customized for use at UAMS by the Translational Research Institute (TRI), the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute and the Department of Biomedical Informatics. Through its service to researchers, UAMS Profiles delivers on a key team science objective of the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), which oversees 62 Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) institutions across the United States, including TRI.

Profiles (TRI.uams.edu/Profiles) combines a key-word directory with illuminating interactive visualizations that show each faculty member’s collaborations or networks with other researchers, and it shows how those networks have evolved over time.

UAMS faculty information is currently shared within the UAMS network and may be viewed by Profiles members at the main UAMS campus, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and its Research Institute (ACRI), the UAMS Northwest Arkansas campus, and by faculty at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System. In 2016, UAMS Profiles will be linked nationally with other research institutions that use Profiles or similar networking programs.

Profiles accounts were automatically established for all UAMS faculty with information imported from UAMS FacFacts (Faculty Facts), TRACKS and PubMed. Each faculty member’s Profile Page includes biographical information, contact information and their researcher networks. A researcher’s network may be viewed on the website as:

  • Concept clouds, which highlight the person’s area of research
  • Map views, which show where 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 publication authors and their co-authors
  • Concept timelines, which depict how a person’s research focus has changed over time.

“The Profiles website provides a very direct way of seeing a researcher’s existing collaborations, who they’ve worked with in the past, and what kind of projects they worked on,” said TRI Director Laura James, M.D. “This is a very important tool for the research community, particularly for new or young research faculty who want to establish research collaborations.  It will also allow researchers to build multidisciplinary research teams, which is a major priority of NCATS.”

Today nearly all CTSA institutions have Profiles or similar research networking programs. The Profiles Research Networking Software Users Group has more than 300 institutional members worldwide. NCATS and CTSA consortium members such as UAMS anticipate that Profiles will facilitate more team-oriented science as collaboration becomes an increasingly important priority for government funding agencies.

“I believe that team science is becoming the primary approach for success in biomedical research,” James said. “Working in teams strengthens the impact and sustainability of research programs.”

TRI plans to expand UAMS Profiles’ networking capacity through the DIRECT2Experts platform in 2016. As part of this federated network, UAMS faculty will be linked with 75 other institutions to help identify research collaborators.

Want to see your individual Profiles page? Go to tri.uams.edu/profiles. Use your UAMS ID and password to login. Once logged in, click “View My Profile.”  If you have questions, email DBMI@uams.edu (Department of Biomedical Informatics). Stay tuned to TRI’s website, TRI.uams.edu, this fall for announcements about upcoming Profiles demonstrations and hands-on training opportunities![/fusion_text][/two_third][one_third last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”#efefef” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”15px” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””][fusion_text]

Profiles Early Adopter

Josh Kennedy, M.D., a UAMS clinician scientist studying rhinovirus and asthma exacerbation, thought he was the only person at UAMS to have published on rhinovirus. Then the TRI KL2 Career Development Awardee test drove UAMS Profiles, the new researcher networking software.

“Lo and behold I found a person named Richard Jackson (M.D.) who’s got three articles on rhinovirus, and he’s right here at UAMS,” Kennedy said of the professor of surgery. “That could be great for me as a junior faculty to have another person in this field who could help.”

Kennedy also tried a key word search for “asthma,” which produced six pages of UAMS asthma researchers.

Josh Kennedy, M.D.

Josh Kennedy, M.D.

“I was extremely surprised; I had no idea there were that many people in this field at UAMS,” he said. “It really opens up a lot of great opportunities for collaboration that we wouldn’t have known about otherwise.”

Kennedy said UAMS Profiles offers a simple process for establishing an account and adding information.

“It didn’t take me a lot of time,” he said. “Most of this information you’ve already compiled at some point, like awards, honors, and an overview of your lab, so it’s relatively simple to just copy and paste it. The other information, like publications, research interests and grants, are done automatically.”


Lee Wilbur, M.D., F.A.A.E.M., Director, UAMS Office of Interprofessional Education

Lee Wilbur, M.D., F.A.A.E.M., Director, UAMS Office of Interprofessional Education

“Collaboration is essential in education, practice and research. The Office of Interprofessional Education has two responsibilities: To teach professionals the value of collaboration and to facilitate collaboration by reducing existing barriers. Profiles reduces existing barriers across disciplines and professions while making collaboration in research much easier. Profiles will improve our ability at UAMS to collaborate locally, regionally and nationally.”


Pearl McElfish, Ph.D., Director, Office of Community Health and Research, UAMS Northwest Campus

Pearl McElfish, Ph.D., Director, Office of Community Health and Research, UAMS Northwest Campus

“Translational research requires the skills of an interprofessional team of researchers, and it is imperative to have a means of finding and connecting with researchers across colleges, departments and research sites. As a researcher based in northwest Arkansas, I believe Profiles is an essential link to investigators based in central Arkansas and elsewhere. With such a dynamic platform to help facilitate team science, Profiles is harnessing technology that removes geographic and other barriers to finding collaborators.”[/fusion_text][/one_third][/fullwidth]