FAQs & Videos

updated 2019-1-14


Illinois Experts, a joint project of the University Library and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, provides a searchable, online portal that showcases the breadth and depth of research and scholarship produced on the Urbana-Champaign campus and facilitates connections between researchers. Further information about the project is available on the About page.

Profiles have been established for all tenure-system faculty on the Urbana-Champaign campus. It is not necessary for new faculty to request a profile; the profile will be created during the next available opportunity after the faculty appointment has been recorded in Banner. Profiles are created in batches 3 times per year. (Some faculty profiles are currently unavailable on the public portal while the project team works to populate them with data that is representative of their research and scholarship.)

Additionally, a limited number of profile seats have been allocated to the campus colleges and OVCR research institutes for providing their specialized and emeriti faculty and academic professional researchers with profiles. Experts does not currently have the capacity to include all campus researchers, but we are planning for future growth.

Illinois Experts pulls together data from multiple authoritative sources in an attempt to provide a representative snapshot of current research activity. These data sources include

  • Scopus. Publication data recorded in Experts as “research output” is maintained via an automated weekly update.
  • Banner. Researcher names, faculty ranks/job titles, unit affiliations, and email addresses are updated weekly.
  • Codebook. Unit names and relations are updated as needed.
  • Illinois Data Bank. As part of the dataset deposit workflow, dataset citations are created in Experts once the IDB deposit is complete.

Additionally, nearly 9,000 publication records (books, book chapters, non-Scopus-indexed journal articles) have been manually entered by the project team as part of an ongoing effort to supplement the information found in profiles for humanities, arts, and social sciences faculty. Units may also assign staff delegates to help manage or supplement the information in Experts on behalf of their affiliated researchers.

Planning to include grants and patents data from campus sources is underway.


There are multiple sources of data for Experts with their own update schedules:

  • Publications data – automatically updated weekly from Scopus
  • Faculty ranks/job titles & unit affliations – Banner data (via EDW) is queried multiple times weekly to identify recent appointment changes
  • Unit names & hierarchies – updated as needed with information from the Codebook
  • Dataset citations – added as part of the Illinois Data Bank deposit workflow

Planning to include grants and patents data from campus sources is underway.

Please send your questions to the Illinois Experts team in the University Library at experts-help@illinois.edu.

Researchers - Editing Basic Profile Information

To log in to Illinois Experts:

  1. Go to experts.illinois.edu and find the “Edit your profile” link.
  2. Click the link. Your log-in information is your NetID.

To edit your basic profile information, follow the steps below, outlined in our video tutorial entitled “Editing your Illinois Experts profile.”

1. Log in to Illinois Experts using your NetID and active directory password.

2. Click on the “edit profile” button next to your profile photo/avatar to open the profile editing window.

3. Make changes to any of the following areas (see below for screenshot):

1. Name variants You may have published under different names or perhaps prefer to have your profile display a different name than your publication name. Adding “former names” that you may have published under can also help improve the accuracy of the automated searches for past publications, but they will not display. If you wish to change the display of your name in your profile, add a new “Known as name.”
2. ORCID iD From within your Experts profile, you can create an ORCID iD (or connect to an existing one). Learn more.
3. Profile photo Photograph for display on your profile. (Use of accounts to store or transmit copyrighted material such as photographs is forbidden unless permission has been obtained from the copyright owner.)
4. Links Use your Experts profile to direct others to your lab or personal pages, other profiles (LinkedIn, ResearchGate, Mendeley, etc.), or social media.
5. Research description You may add free text information about your research interests, teaching experience, creative works, selected presentations, and more. Note: text added as the “Research Interests” or “Creative/Performing Interests” type will be factored into the fingerprint. Learn more.
6. Education/academic qualification Do not enter information into this section. Instead, if you wish to list your educational credentials in your profile, add this information in the “Curriculum & research description” section.
7. Keywords ● Improve your profile’s discoverability by adding free form keywords or from available taxonomies. Learn more.
8.Fingerprint ● You can suppress terms from your profile fingerprint, but cannot add terms directly. Learn more.
9. Save ● Remember to always SAVE any changes made to your profile

4. There are several fields you are unable to edit directly, including:

  • Name
  • Unit affiliation(s) and job title(s)
  • Email address
  • Profile visibility

5. Changes made to the profile will generally appear on the public portal within a few minutes. However, in rare cases, it may take up to a day for the changes to appear.

If you have questions about your profile, please contact Illinois Experts staff at experts-help@illinois.edu.

About the fingerprint

The fingerprints displayed on the portal are generated via the Elsevier Fingerprint Engine, which analyzes the available metadata–particularly, the abstract–for each publication using natural language processing techniques and attempts identify related concepts in one or more discipline-specific thesauri or vocabulary sets. Identified concepts are then weighted according to how frequently they feature in the publication metadata. Individual publication fingerprints are aggregated into a single fingerprint for the researcher, and fingerprints for affiliated researchers are in turn aggregated into department, college, or institute fingerprints. (NOTE: Superscripts and subscripts may distort fingerprint terms in your profile. For example, bee will be matched to the term “bee.” If this occurs in your profile, we recommend suppressing those terms.)

To suppress fingerprint terms, follow the steps below, outlined in our video tutorial entitled “Modifying your Illinois Experts profile’s Fingerprint.”

1. Log in to Illinois Experts using your NetID and active directory password.

2. Click on the “edit profile” button next to your profile photo/avatar and then, in the menu on the left side of the editing window, click “Fingerprints.”

fingerprint 1

3. To suppress an entire set of concepts, use the on/off toggle located to the right of each concept heading. Click individual terms to hide them. The hidden terms will move to the bottom of the concept area underneath the title “omitted concepts.” To show omitted concepts, click the desired terms. The terms will move back to their appropriate location in the fingerprint.

4. Click “save.”

To further modify the fingerprint:

1. Although you can suppress concepts from your profile fingerprint, you cannot add terms directly. You can, however, influence the fingerprint by adding a “Research Interests” or “Creative/Performing Interests” statement to the “Curriculum and research description” section of your profile. Learn more.

2. Note that changes to the fingerprint resulting from the addition of a “Research Interests” or “Creative/Performing Interests” statement will not appear immediately. The new material will be factored into the fingerprint during the next scheduled fingerprinting process.

What is an ORCID iD?

An ORCID iD is a unique, persistent identifier that links authors to their research, makes it easier for others to cite and correctly attribute their work, and helps to eliminate confusion over name similarities. Furthermore, publishers and funders are increasingly requiring an ORCID iD at manuscript or proposal submission.

Create an ORCID iD (or link to an existing one) using your Illinois Experts profile. Follow the steps below, outlined in our video tutorial entitled “Creating an ORCID ID using Illinois Experts.”

1. Log in to your Experts profile using your NetID and active directory password.

2. Click the “edit profile” button next to your profile photo/avatar to open the profile editing window.

3. Click “Create or Connect your ORCID iD”.

4. On the ORCID registration page, register for an ORCID account (or sign in to an existing one). Once you have authorized the connection between your Illinois Experts profile and the ORCID registry, your ORCID iD will display on your Experts profile page.

You may have other online profiles, social media accounts, or a personally-designed website that you’ve put a lot of effort into. Help guide others to those resources by linking to them from your Experts profile!

1. Log in to Illinois Experts using your NetID and active directory password. 1.

2. Click on the “edit profile” button next to your profile photo/avatar.

3. Click the “add link” button.

4. Add the URL for the intended profile, social media, or website.

5. Select a link type (LinkedIn, ResearchGate, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) from the drop-down list.

6. Click the blue “create” button.

7. Click the blue “save” button at the bottom of the window.

To increase discoverability, consider adding keyword terms to your profile. Note that keywords are not the same as fingerprint concepts (see here for information on fingerprints). Free-text searches for keyword terms will help point users to you and your research.

To add keywords to your profile:

1. Log in to Illinois Experts using your NetID and active directory password.

2. Click the “edit profile” button next to your profile photo/avatar to open the profile editing window.

3. Scroll down to the bottom of the pop-up window until you see “Add keywords.”

4. Select the a best-fit concept area for your desired keyword in the pop-up window.

5. Type in the desired keyword(s) and save.

type in keywords

6. Be sure to click the blue Save button before you finish.


Researchers - Adding Publications & Other Content

The majority of publication information in Illinois Experts comes from Elsevier’s Scopus citation and abstract database. An automated connection to Scopus provides Experts with a weekly update of new publication information, alleviating the need for researchers or support staff to make manual updates.

However, although Scopus is the largest index of peer-reviewed literature, publication coverage varies among disciplines. Therefore, to date the project team has manually added nearly 9,000 publication records–primarily book, chapter, and non-Scopus-indexed journal articles–to supplement the automated information in profiles for faculty in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

If the work in question has been published recently, it may soon be added to your profile automatically as an import from the Scopus database. In this case, it is recommended to wait for the automated update to avoid duplicate records being created in the profile. Note: it may take 4 to 6 weeks from the date of publication for the work to be indexed in Scopus and then pushed out to Experts.

Although there are several options (including use of a template or importing from a file or an online source) for researchers to add publications to their profile, we recommend contacting the project team to assist with the entry of publications so that available metadata can be gathered and formatted appropriately.

Most publication data in Illinois Experts has been gathered from authoritative sources, such as the Scopus citation and abstract database. However, it is possible that errors or incomplete data may appear in the publication record found in Experts. If this is the case, we recommend contacting the project team for assistance in correcting the error, especially as that error may affect other records in Experts.

Deleting the record is not recommended because that may not resolve the issue that led to the duplicate record in the first place. If a duplicate record appears in the profile, we recommend contacting the project team for assistance in resolving the duplicate records.

It is possible to highlight up to 5 publications so that they appear first in the list of research output on the profile overview (this is the default view when first navigating to a profile). Follow the steps below, outlined in our video tutorial entitled “Highlighting content on your Illinois Experts profile.”

  1. Log in to Illinois Experts using your NetID and active directory password.
  2. Click on the “edit profile” button next to your profile photo/avatar to open the profile editing window.
  3. Select “Portal profile” in the menu on the left side of the editing window.
  4. In the section labeled “Highlighted content”, select the open-book icon and click the plus button to open a search bar.
  5. Begin typing the title of the desired work, and then select that work from the resulting list.
  6. Repeat step 5 to highlight additional works (a maximum of 5 may be selected).
  7. Click the “save” button before closing the editing window.

Other types of content (activities, honors, press/media items, etc.) may also be highlighted in this way. Although changes will generally appear on the public portal within a few minutes, in rare cases it may take up to a day for the changes to appear. Highlighted content will only be prioritized on the lists that appear in the profile overview.

Other types of content that can be added to the profile include activities (presentations and invited lectures, editorial positions, other service-related activities), honors, and press/media items covering the researcher or their research. All records of this type will need to be created manually, either by the researcher or by someone appointed by their unit to assist with this task.

To add an activity, honor, or press/media item:

  1. Log in to Illinois Experts using your NetID and active directory password.
  2. Click on the “Add new” button that appears in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  3. Select the desired content type and then an appropriate sub-template.
  4. Enter the required information (fields marked with *) and click the “Save” button.

Yes, we are currently working on a process to gather information on grants, patents, and other information from various campus systems and load it into Experts in such a way to prevent the need for manual re-entry of that information. More details will be available soon.

Unit Administrators

Each college-level unit will have the opportunity to include non-tenure line faculty and researchers in the Illinois Experts system. These individuals may be emeritus, clinical, or research faculty or may be active academic professional researchers (due to the portal’s emphasis on current research activity, it is recommended that individuals selected for profiles have authored at least one peer-reviewed publication within the most recent 5 years). Following the DMI HR snapshot each fall, which will determine the number of tenure-line faculty seats in Illinois Experts, the Illinois Experts steering committee will begin reaching out to colleges to solicit their profile nominations. Each college will be able to nominate a pre-determined number of scholars from their unit, at no additional cost. If a college wishes to include more researchers beyond their no-cost allocation, they may do so, at cost. Non-tenure-line researcher profiles were first added, in limited number, during 2017 and will be added/updated annually.

If you have questions about this process, please contact experts-help@illinois.edu.


We will be happy to set up a user account for one or more “unit delegates” who will be able to view or add/edit content in profiles of faculty affiliated with their unit. There are a variety of roles that may be requested:

  • Editor of Persons—able to add content (photos, links to social media, research statements, keywords, etc.) to faculty profiles
  • Editor of Research Output—able to add/edit publication records
  • Editor of Activities—able to add/edit activities records (board memberships, peer review, invited lectures, etc.)
  • Editor of Press/Media—able to add/edit press/media records
  • Editor of Prizes—able to add/edit honors and recognition records
  • Reporter—view-only access that allows for filtering and exporting lists
  • All of the above

Multiple individuals may be assigned as delegates for a unit. For example, the editor of research output role might be requested for a unit librarian, and the editor of press/media role might be requested for a communications official.

To set up an account for your unit, please email experts-help@illinois.edu with

  • the name and NetID of the intended unit delegate(s) and
  • an acknowledgement from your unit’s executive officer indicating their approval of the request.

Yes! After we’ve received the request to set up a user account for a unit delegate, and the approval of that unit’s executive officer, we’ll send the unit delegate their log-in credentials and a brief user guide for viewing and adding records in the Experts database. We will also gladly arrange for personalized training, if desired, at that time.

Yes, we will be happy to meet with your unit to discuss Illinois Experts. To request a presentation, please complete the form below.

Advanced FAQs

The software (Elsevier Pure) that powers Illinois Experts offers an API to support extraction of Illinois Experts data for use with other campus systems. Any information publicly available in Illinois Experts can be extracted, including fingerprint concepts. Example use cases for the web service API include web page updates, directory updates, and populating a local profile system.

Documentation on the most recent version of the web service API is available at https://experts.illinois.edu/ws/ . To obtain an API key, please contact experts-help@illinois.edu with your name, unit, and a brief description of intended API usage.


Editing basic profile information

Modifying your profile’s fingerprint

Creating an ORCID ID using your profile

Highlighting content on your profile

Illinois Experts | Terms of Use | Need help? Contact us at experts-help@illinois.edu!

Request a profile update

We are happy to assist in ensuring that the information in your profile is as current and accurate as possible. Please take a moment to tell us about the profile updates you are requesting.

Request a presentation

We are available to provide an informative discussion on Illinois Experts, including project history, current state of the system, and future plans.