|REACH NC allows quicker, more efficient access to School’s experts|
|July 19, 2011|
For nearly every public health challenge, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health has a team of innovative scientists quickening the pace toward a solution. But how do other scientists, students, members of the media, business leaders, legislators and others learn more about what we're doing?
Until recently, those looking for detailed information about School researchers with particular expertise might depend on their colleague networks, our School's online faculty profiles or multiple searches through
any number of online systems. Now, an online search and profiling tool called REACH NC uses advanced logic, visualizations and sophisticated knowledge engines to compile an unprecedented amount of information about a researcher's expertise, grants, publications, patents and collaborations, as well as lists of other people with expertise in similar areas.
"REACH NC is a wonderful resource because it clearly documents the many research activities taking place at our School through the years," says Sandra Martin, associate dean for research at the public health school. "It shows specifically how our faculty members are working on solving some of the world's most pressing public health problems."
The REACHNC.org website, developed by RENCI (Renaissance Computing Institute) in collaboration with the School's Office of Research, UNC's School of Medicine and North Carolina State University, gives users direct access to REACH NC. To enhance the public health school's website, direct links to REACH NC data have been added to the profile pages of public health school faculty members.
While a few other universities use data collection tools such as SciVal Experts (Elsevier), ISI Web of KnowledgeSM (Thomson Reuters) and PubMed (NCBI) to gather information about faculty research, REACH NC is an expanded version of Elsevier's SciVal Experts, formerly known as Collexis.
"We took the Elsevier tool and moved it 'beyond the box,'" said Andy Johns, UNC associate vice chancellor for research. "The RENCI team added information about grant and teaching activities and intellectual property activity, and pulled additional data from sources such as RAMSeS [UNC's electronic research administration system]."
Plans to expand the program include the addition of financial data, research expenditures, economic impact and geographical reach. Further, Duke University experts will be included in the system soon, and with additional funding, REACH NC is set to include information from all 16 UNC-system campuses.
REACH NC is made possible through a public-private partnership that includes area universities (UNC, N.C. State, Duke), RENCI, The Golden Leaf Foundation, research institutions at Research Triangle Park, the Triangle Universities Center for Advanced Studies Inc. (TUCASI), the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC-TraCS), and Elsevier.
RENCI is a collaborative venture of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, North Carolina State University, East Carolina University, UNC-Asheville, UNC-Charlotte and UNC's Coastal Studies Institute.
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|Last updated July 22, 2011|