Illinois Research Connections web portal of Illinois researchers

Illinois Research Connections (IRC) is a new web portal which profiles the research of faculty and scholars at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This year I have served as the project manager for this joint effort of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) and the University Library. IRC was created to help researchers more easily discover and connect with potential collaborators and to reduce the time and effort needed to display Illinois research to local and external stakeholders.

IRC now includes more than 1,800 STEM and social science faculty and OVCR institute researcher profiles, and is populated with more than 101,000 publications indexed in Elsevier’s Scopus database, updated automatically on a weekly basis.

IRC is still in beta, and the currently available functionality is just the beginning. Our ultimate goal is to be as inclusive and representative of all disciplines on campus as possible. However, because of systemic challenges with humanities publications information, you will find faculty profiles in these departments are currently suppressed. The Library is currently working to pull publication information from other non-Scopus sources. In time, we will also be able to include grant and patent information. Users will soon be able to sync with their ORCID profiles.

How do you use Illinois Research Connections?

Visit the IRC site experts.illinois.edu to search for potential collaborators, reviewers, or committee members by name, unit, or concept. Not only can you see publications associated with individual experts, you can also view these publications aggregated by university department or college.

IRC

Publications identified in the Scopus index are pre-populated in each researcher’s profile. These are also the source of each researcher’s (and unit’s) Fingerprint®: a list of relevant concept terms identified through text mining.

You can search by one or more Fingerprint terms, and you can even expand your search beyond the Illinois campus to include results from the “Experts Community” of research universities around the world.

Enhance your profile

Each profile currently includes researchers’ names, job titles, and Scopus-derived publications, but profile holders can log into their profiles and add additional content such as personal or laboratory web pages, a research statement, unrepresented publications, and additional keyword terms (especially if these weren’t captured through the Fingerprint engine). Researchers are encouraged to follow the lead of Juan Andrade, Assistant Professor of Food Science & Human Nutrition, and add a professional photograph, research summary, keywords, and web links. Profile holders can access a number of help resources from the top right corner of the IRC portal, including short FAQs to help them add publications, hide Fingerprint terms, import publications from Google Scholar, and assign a proxy to maintain their profiles. Have questions or comments? Just send us an email to irc-help@illinois.edu.

Much more to come

Our hope is that IRC will help you to discover potential collaborators and make the work of Illinois faculty and researchers more discoverable. If you have questions, please contact me, Rebecca Bryant, at irc-help@illinois.edu

Posted on behalf of Rebecca Bryant, Visiting Project Manager, Research Information Systems.