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About Profiles Research Networking Software


Profiles Research Networking Software is a research networking and expertise mining software tool. It not only shows traditional directory information, but also illustrates how each person is connected to others in the broad research community.

As you navigate through the website, you will see three types of pages:

Profile Pages

Each person has a Profile Page that includes his or her name, titles, affiliations, and contact information. Faculty can edit their own profiles, adding publications, awards, narrative, and a photo. Other objects, such as publications, journals, departments, or concepts can have "profiles". This About page is a "profile" of the Profiles Research Networking Software website.

  • Passive Networks - Passive networks are formed automatically when faculty share common traits such as being in the same department, working in the same building, co-authoring the same paper, or researching the same concepts or topics. A preview of a person's passive networks is shown on the right side of his or her profile.
  • Active Networks - Active networks are the ones that you define. When users who login to the website view other people's profiles, they can mark those people as collaborators, advisors, or advisees. In other words, you can build your own network of people that you know. Currently, you can only see the networks that you build. In the future you will be able to share these lists with others. Active networks are shown on your left sidebar.

Network Pages

Network Pages show all the people in a particular Passive or Active Network. Networks can also include other types of profiles, not just people. A "concept" network is a list of all the topics a person has written about. There are many ways to display a network other than a simple list, and Profiles offers several types of network visualization tools.

Connection Pages

Certain Network Pages will include a "Why?" link. These will take you to a Connection Page, which shows why two people or profiles in that network are connected. For example, the Why link in a co-authorship network lists the publications that two people wrote together. The Connection Pages also reveal why certain people appear higher on search results and why particular concepts are highlighted on a person's profile.


Profiles Research Networking Software includes several different ways to view networks, including (from left to right) Concept Clouds, which highlight a person's areas of research; Map Views, which show where a person's co-authors are located; Publication Timelines, which graph the number of publications of different types by year; Radial Network Views, which illustrate clusters of connectivity among related people; and Concept Timelines, which depict how a person's research focus has changed over time.

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Sharing Data

Profiles Research Networking Software is a Semantic Web application, which means its content can be read and understood by other computer programs. This enables the data in profiles, such as addresses and publications, to be shared with other institutions and appear on other websites. If you click the "Export RDF" link on the left sidebar of a profile page, you can see what computer programs see when visiting a profile. For technical information about how build a computer program that can export data from Profiles Research Networking Software, view the Sharing Data page.