A couple of weeks ago I added version 3 of the BU research ontology to the blog and asked for your advice as to whether this adequately reflected the breadth of your disciplines and expertise (see BU’s keywords for research – is everything included?). Thank you to everyone who responded to this – all of your comments and suggestions have been incorporated into version 4.
Rather than using the rigid 3-level structure, Version 4 includes the first attempt of mapping the keywords to the four broad areas of:
- Business & Management
- Media & Culture
- Health & Society
- Science & Technology
These areas will then map to the 8 emerging BU research themes. The aim of this is to provide a more flexible ontology that is adaptable to the complexities of inter- and multi-disciplinary research and that can be used to make relationships between people and disciplines (and therefore news stories, projects, outputs, etc) internally and also via the new external research webpages.
You can access Version 4 here: Research ontology v4
We’re very interested in your feedback as to whether the mapping in Version 4 is fit for purpose or whether any changes need to be made. Please add your comments to this post by Friday 2 September 🙂
Thanks to Katarzyna Musial for her help in visualising how this could work.
Maybe you see Megalith as the towering winner, or you think BRAIN is the cleverest suggestion? Or is it RAD that you think is most radical?!
Symplectic Elements as the new research management system that BU is implementing this summer and it needs a name.
Whatever your preference remember to cast your vote before 19 August!
Happy voting! 🙂
In May/June there was some discussion on the blog about developing keywords for research (research ontology/vocabulary/taxonomy) which would be used to classify BU research in future.
See previous blog posts here:
Looking to the future the finalised ontology will be extremely important in structuring how research at BU is presented, internally and externally, particularly on the external research webpages and the directory of expertise.
Responses received via the Blog indicated that the Science-Metrix ontology was too broad and that the Library of Congress ontology was too granular, so it seems that neither is a perfect fit for BU.
Using the Library of Congress ontology as a starting point we have worked with the Deputy Deans (R&E)/equivalent, Research Centre Directors and UOA Leaders to list the key specialisms applicable to BU. The resulting list is now available – you can read this by following the link below:
BU research ontology v3
We need to finalise the list by 19 August 2011. But before we finalise the list we’d very much appreciate your advice as to whether these keywords adequately cover your disciplines. If you’d like to suggest any changes to the list please could you add a comment to this post by 19 August?
In addition we are interested to know whether the proposed level structure is useful or whether one list of keywords would be preferable? Let us know your views by commenting on this post!
Last month I wrote a post announcing Symplectic Elements as the new research management system that BU is implementing this summer (you can read this post here).
We’re now at the exciting stage of naming the system! The steering group has come up with a list of possible names for you to vote on. Cast your votes below!
If you’d like to add some alternative suggestions, please do this by adding comments to this post. You can also add comments to this post about the alternative suggestions that have been added!
The poll will be open until 19 August. Happy voting! 🙂
I’d like to introduce you to Symplectic Elements – our soon-to-be new research management system. You might have heard colleagues talking about Symplectic Elements for a while now – the supplier (Symplectic Ltd) first visited BU to demonstrate the application in August 2009. I’m pleased to announced that we have now signed the contract with Symplectic and are in discussions with the supplier to determine the implementation plan. The aim is to have the system up and running this autumn.
Symplectic Elements is already used by lots of other UK universities, including Imperial College, Oxford, Exeter, Cambridge, UCL and Plymouth.
So what is Symplectic Elements and what benefits will it bring to BU? Symplectic Elements is a research management system. It will not replace any of our existing BU systems (such as BURO or RED) but it will link to them and join them together, sharing data between the systems. This means that BU staff will be able to add information to Symplectic Elements and it will be used in multiple systems. You will also be able to access research information from a single place. A single point of data entry will enable research information (such as publications data) to be automatically formatted and reused in other forums, such as in BU’s open access repository (BURO) and the BU staff profile webpages, without the need for duplicate or additional data entry. You will also be able to query data that appears to be missing or incorrect.
Symplectic Elements will provide academics with a simple ‘dashboard’ from which to view and manage their research information. This will also help when BU begins compiling data to meet the requirements of the REF.
How will Symplectic Elements link with the existing systems?
- Symplectic Elements will link to our Research and Enterprise Database (RED) so you can see your current bids and projects. From within Symplectic you will also be able to link yourself to the PGR students you supervise.
- It will link to BURO so that your research outputs are entered into the repository.
- It will also link to a number of external publication databases (including Web of Science and Scopus) and automatically search these for your publications. When it identifies a paper it thinks might be yours it will send you an email and ask you to confirm it is your paper. If it is then all you will need to do is to tick ‘yes’ and Symplectic will create a record of your publication automatically. You will simply need to add a full-text copy of the paper (copyright permitting) and it will be uploaded into BURO.
- Symplectic Elements will link to the new content management system and you will be able to choose which information is used on your staff profile webpage.
Timeframe for implementation: A broad steering group of representatives from across BU’s Schools and Professional Services has been formed to help feed into and guide the system’s implementation. A core project management group is currently overseeing the day-to-day tasks and will manage the initial data integration and checking. A meeting with the suppliers is scheduled for the end of the month. The system is due to go live in autumn 2011.
Further updates about Symplectic Elements will be posted on the BU Research Blog in due course!
Matthew’s previous blog post (Research Ontology of Find an Expert!) introduced the concept of using the Science-Metrix ontology as the starting point for how BU will classify research in the future.
To date we have not received any responses from BU staff as to whether you think these keywords are suitable, or any suggestions for alternative keywords.
These keywords will be extremely important going forwards as they will be the words used to classify your research expertise in the future, both internally and externally.
The ontology is based on 176 discipline sub-fields which can be viewed here. We are aware these might not be a finished product for BU’s needs but we need your input to further refine them for our use.
Your comments and ideas are very welcome and should be added as comments to the blog post.
The new publication management system will be introduced over the summer and become the single user interface for academics with their web profiles and such things as BURO. This project is in syncs with the introduction of the new content management system within BU which will transform our web presence. As part of both these projects we plan to introduce a ‘find an expert’ function both for internal and external use. We need to liberate academics to collaborate openly and freely within BU. One of the inhibitors at the moment is actually finding someone to collaborate with! So the find an expert function will have real power to help staff find potential expertise within BU with which to work.
The problem is that any such system is only as good as the keywords used to describe each individual’s research; we all refer to ourselves and our work via a plethora of different terms. A basic ontology of subjects and research fields provides on solution. Staff pick the words within the ontology which best fits their expertise. There are lots of research ontology’s we could use as the starting point. For example the Library of Congress Subject Headings is one of the best with good coverage of all subjects but is very granular for BU. There are 150 different types of sociology for example! Another option is the Science-Metrix which has three levels and 176 sub-fields. This is much more manageable and could be modified to incorporate our own terms such as the ten BU Research Themes.
I would be interested to have your thoughts on this matter. A list of the 176 sub-fields from the Science-Metrix ontology is shown below. How would you describe your own research via such a system? Are there alternative ontology’s we could use? Your comments and ideas would be very welcome, but soon please since we have to take a decision on this shortly!