Magazine article Information Today

'Friending' Scientists

Magazine article Information Today

'Friending' Scientists

Article excerpt

Social networking is making scientific collaboration much easier these days, especially at Indiana University (IU). Some of the university staff is at the drawing board, creating a networking system that is best described as "Facebook for scientists."

The National Institutes of Health has doled out an American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) grant of more than $1.8 million, funds that will be used to join in the collaborative efforts of a seven-university, $12.2 million project to network researchers nationwide.

The networking platform, which has authentication systems to safeguard sensitive data and intellectual property, is based on a working template in use at Cornell University. This VIVO template collects publicly available data on people, departments, graduate fields, facilities, and other resources to create the overall research and scholarship environment for all of Cornell's disciplines.

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On the IU campus, Katy Borner, a professor at the school of library and information science, will lead the project with Victor H. Yngve, professor of information science and director of the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center at IU. Borner's co-investigators at IU are Ying Ding, an assistant professor of information science, and Robert McDonald, associate dean for library technologies at IU and associate director for the Data to Insight Center at the Pervasive Technology Institute.

IU has a three-tiered system in development: Borner's team will focus on R&D in data analysis and visualization, Ding will concentrate on ontology development, and McDonald will implement VIVO at IU. …

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