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Profiles Faculty Directory and Collaboration Tool

To access Profiles, click here.

Research networking sites, such as Profiles, organize and present information on people, research, and education activities.  They transcend campus, college, and departments to provide a single point of access for faculty, students, administrators, prospective faculty and students, external sponsors, and the public. Faculty profile information is automatically imported from institutional data sources such as human resources, grant databases, course listings, etc., or may be entered manually by individual users.  This information is then available for browsing and searching, or for export.  Profiles uses a controlled vocabulary (i.e., key words) to standardize information and make it easier to retrieve both by individuals and by other computer applications.

These key words make it possible to group, locate, and map scientists and their work.   Information is organized into different fields (e.g., department, college, key words, etc.) and creates relationships between individual faculty members to present information about researchers without regard to the campus, college, or department in which the researcher resides.  For example, all investigators linked with a specific key word can be seen when that term is used in a search, or all faculty in a particular department.  It is also possible to create visual webs linking the faculty member with coauthors or collaborators, both inside and outside of the institution.

What Profiles Does:

  • Provides a uniform presentation of faculty and their research to the Penn State community and beyond
  • Identifies research technologies and facilities for Penn State investigators
  • Recruits faculty and students who find it difficult to navigate beyond a single department or college website to find researchers with common interests
  • Provides an accurate representation of the breadth and depth of research at Penn State
  • Is a resource for researchers at Penn State or elsewhere looking beyond their immediate field for activities or collaborators relevant to new explorations
  • Provides a means for current or prospective students to discover fields of study, research projects, advisors, and opportunities
  • Is a source for industrial partners and donors to evaluate Penn State’s involvement in areas of common interest, and to provide points of contact
  • Is a resource for administrators or journalists seeking information and expert commentary on current issues or more general scientific background
  • Provides an easy-to-use interface for faculty to both input information and search for information
  • Provides a tool whereby the overall level of collaboration amongst faculty members may be measured instantaneously or over time
  • Provides a tool whereby the collaboration networks of individual and groups of faculty members may be visualized, observed and analyzed