Abstract: Identifying collaborators is an increasingly difficult challenge for scientists in an age of growing collaboration in biomedical research. The goal of this project was to design and implement a system for identifying potential collaborators within the six schools at the Health Sciences Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Using a multi-method approach, we developed Digital Vita (DV), a scientific social networking system based on faculty CVs. DV allows researchers to manage their complete CVs, output CV information in a variety of formats, build their social network manually as well as automatically, and maintain and route multiple versions of NIH biosketches. DV is integrated into a scientist’s workflow, reduces work through automatic data acquisition and network effects, and provides secondary benefits. It may be well positioned to serve as a complement to more traditional approaches for identifying collaborators.
Keywords: Computer-supported Cooperative Work; Collaboration; Science; Research Networking; Clinical Research Informatics; Social Networking