Profiles Research Networking Software (RNS) is a research networking and expertise discovery software tool designed to help investigators find new collaborators. It automatically combines local administrative databases with external data such as Pubmed to create online profiles of researchers. Interactive data visualizations show different networks that exist within an organization, such as people who have co-authored publications, who are conducting similar research, or whose offices are physically close.

Profiles RNS is used at several dozen institutions across the country, and it benefits greatly from an active open source community. University of California San Francisco added support for Open Research Networking Gadgets (ORNG) to Profiles RNS, which uses the OpenSocial standard (used by Google, IBM, LinkedIn, and others) to enable developers to create light-weight but powerful plugins. Boston University integrated Profiles RNS with ORCID, which creates a unique author identifier for researchers. Cornell and University of Florida developed a Semantic Web ontology called VIVO, which Profiles RNS uses to exchange data with other websites. Commercial support services for Profiles RNS are available from the company Symplectic.

More information about Profiles RNS, including software downloads, links to sites using Profiles RNS, free bibliometric analysis tools, news and events, and Profiles RNS User Group details can be found on the Profiles RNS open source website. To see how Profiles is used at Harvard, visit the Harvard Catalyst Profiles website, which features 24,000 faculty from Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and Harvard School of Public Health.

Profiles RNS was invented by the lab of Griffin Weber, MD, PhD, whose current members include Nick Benik, Nick Brown, Ken Huling, James Norman, Marlon Violette, and Steve Wimberg. Many other individuals have also contributed to the software over the years.

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Current People

Griffin Weber Griffin Weber Associate Professor of Medicine

Collaborations

The Profiles RNS team led the development of and hosts the the DIRECT2Experts network, open to all biomedical institutions. The pilot project is facilitated by the Research Networking Working Group of the NIH-supported Clinical & Translational Science Award (CTSA) Consortium.

In September 2012, the Web Portal team launched a new drupal-based website for the immunology community at Harvard. This community’s people and resources are spread across many centers and departments at Harvard and its academic health centers.   The Harvard Immunology website provides a window into this rich but disparate community, revealing the breadth and depth of their expertise. Its People & Labs tool expands upon Harvard Catalyst Profiles by providing a means for students and staff to add themselves to the community while faculty and fellows are automatically included. eagle-i integration provides a rich environment for finding and sharing resources.

University of California San Francisco added support for Open Research Networking Gadgets (ORNG) to Profiles RNS, which uses the OpenSocial standard (used by Google, IBM, LinkedIn, and others) to enable developers to create light-weight but powerful plugins. Read more.

eagle-i collaborated with the VIVO team to align the VIVO and eagle-i resource ontologies into the Integrated Semantic Framework (or VIVO-ISF). This aligned ontology covers researcher interests, activities, and accomplishments, as well as the resource resources produced in their work. The two aligned ontologies under the VIVO-ISF provided the backbone for data integration between eagle-i and Profiles.