by Justin Wadland
Whenever I’ve shown SelectedWorks author profiles on campus, the most common question to follow is: Will this platform help us search and identify faculty based on their research expertise?
The potential for doing this has always been a part of SelectedWorks — all of the profiles allow authors to identify their disciplines and research interests — but up until recently, this data was not easily searchable. I’m pleased to say, however, that this has changed with the UW Tacoma Expert Gallery.
Earlier this summer, bepress (the company that supports Digital Commons) released a beta version of this new service for all institutions that have a subscription to the SelectedWorks profile feature. The Expert Gallery offers searching and browsing of terms entered in the discipline and research interest sections of faculty profiles. Take a look at this screenshot of the “about” page of a profile to see the fields it uses:
This tool has the powerful potential to:
- Help researchers with complementary interests find each other.
- Connect student researchers with faculty advisors or projects.
- Identify areas of expertise on campus for internal and external queries.
It must be emphasized, however, that the Expert Gallery is in beta mode, meaning that it is still under development. Also, the gallery is far from comprehensive; currently only about half of all UW Tacoma faculty members have SelectedWorks author profiles.
Over the next year, we plan to fine-tune existing profiles as we learn more about how the Expert Gallery works and receive feedback from from UW Tacoma faculty. Also, we intend to reach out to departments and faculty who don’t yet profiles so that the the gallery can reflect the various work being done on campus. In the mean time, if you would like to have your profile created or updated, there is a new request form:
Also, you may always login to and edit your profile at any time. Instructions on how to create, access, and customize your profile can be found on my libguide to Digital Commons. If you have any questions, please contact me.