Research Networking Systems: The State of Adoption at Institutions Aiming to Augment Translational Research Infrastructure

J Transl Med Epidemiol. 2014;2(2):1026. Epub 2014 Aug 2.


Fostering collaborations across multiple disciplines within and across institutional boundaries is becoming increasingly important with the growing emphasis on translational research. As a result, Research Networking Systems that facilitate discovery of potential collaborators have received significant attention by institutions aiming to augment their research infrastructure. We have conducted a survey to assess the state of adoption of these new tools at the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) funded institutions. Survey results demonstrate that most CTSA funded institutions have either already adopted or were planning to adopt one of several available research networking systems. Moreover a good number of these institutions have exposed or plan to expose the data on research expertise using linked open data, an established approach to semantic web services. Preliminary exploration of these publically-available data shows promising utility in assessing cross-institutional collaborations. Further adoption of these technologies and analysis of the data are needed, however, before their impact on cross-institutional collaboration in research can be appreciated and measured.

Keywords: Collaboration science; Informatics; Linked data; Translational science.