Use cases What can you do with research information?

This page highlights different ways that research information can be used to communicate impact of researchers work and demonstrate contributions. 


The Libraries supports University units as they find ways to tell their stories through research output and set goals for increasing impacts and demonstrating valued contributions.

There are many ways to showcase research and resources, and even measure impact and outcomes, and they vary by discipline. The Libraries provides services related to impact and outcomes both because of librarians’ deep knowledge of the metadata describing research work and because they are a neutral party, offering services and expertise equally across disciplines.

If you have questions, please email us at

Keep track

Faculty publications or other research outputs like patents may need to be tracked for internal reporting, or a center may want to track use of their data or equipment. Internal or external grants may require reports on activities and productivity. Once you get all the data about your researchers and research in one place, you can put the data together in different ways.

Who's doing what? Scheduled reports of media coverage and scholarly publications for a school

The School of Public Health Communications team needs to know about recently published research by SPH researchers, and is particularly interested in work that catches the imagination of media outlets. Rather than relying on each researcher to report publications and media contacts, the team wanted to be more proactive.

Now members of the team receive two reports via email on a regular basis:

monthly report of publications by SPH researchers added to Experts@Minnesota during the previous month

weekly report of press/media items referencing an SPH researcher's work during the previous week

Both reports were created for SPH by a Research Services Librarian. Contact us for regular updates on the work of a group of researchers.

Using a list of people to uncover publications related to a center

Do you regularly send out emails to people affiliated with your center to find out what they've published?

That used to be the starting point for staff at the Materials Research in Science & Engineering Center (MRSEC). Now, the managing director gets a spreadsheet via email each week that lists all new-to-Experts@Minnesota publications with a MRSEC author.

Not all those publications are related to the authors' work with the Center. Authors often list grants, centers, and facilities in an Acknowledgements section of their papers. That information is increasingly available in databases like Scopus and Web of Science. For MRSEC, once the spreadsheet is open in Excel, staff can click a button to that pulls acknowledgement text from Scopus. Then it checks for known grant numbers and other ways of acknowledging the MRSEC contribution. Publications can then be tagged in Experts as MRSEC-related.

Contact us for regular updates on the work of people associated with your center or grant and a custom Excel add-in to check for acknowledgements.

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Report out

Do you need to summarize information about your organization's research for the director, a board of advisors, or a funder? Do you need to create annual or ad hoc reports? We can help you set up reports that list publications, grants, and other information. We can also help you analyze your research information to see where and with whom your researchers are collaborating and how their work is making an impact.

List all publications funded by a grant

Like staff at many grant-funded centers, MRSEC's managing director regularly reports the center’s outcomes and impacts to MRSEC’s funder, NSF. Publications are a primary outcome. MRSEC support results in more than 100 peer-reviewed articles published each year.

In the past, the process of reporting involved sending e-mails to 50+ busy researchers, keeping track of their email responses, and confirming that each publication was reported once and only once.

Now MRSEC uses Experts@Minnesota to find out about and keep track of MRSEC-related publications. The managing director receives an automatically generated report of new publications, reviews them for MRSEC acknowledgements, and adds tags to related publications for MRSEC authors and the appropriate grant. Producing the Publications part of each NSF report--or a sorted list for the MRSEC website--takes minutes instead of hours.

Contact us for more information about how to use Experts@Minnesota to show the results of funding.

With whom do your researchers collaborate?

Soon after its formation, the Water Council, an interdisciplinary University of Minnesota System-wide group, had assembled a list of University researchers doing work related to clean water access. But they needed a way to both update the list and find people they hadn't already identified.

Using Experts@Minnesota data, Libraries staff identified people who have collaborated with known water researchers over the past five years. The Water Council used the resulting list of people and the publications on which they collaborated with known water researchers to find faculty, researchers, and post-doctoral associates to add to their records.

Contact us to see how a known group of researchers connects to others you don't know.

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Enhance findability

How do you make your research and experts findable to others? If you need a place to pull together people from different departments that work at your center, you can create a profile page for your center that identifies people and publications from your center. We can help you make your publications, datasets, and research groups publicly findable and accessible with tools like the University Digital Conservancy (UDC) and Digital Repository (DRUM) and Experts@Minnesota.

Add a list of publications to a website with the Experts Website Widget

Most center, department, and faculty web pages include a list of publications. Experts@Minnesota pages list publications for any University of Minnesota person or organization, you may want to provide context and customize your own site in ways not possible with Experts@Minnesota pages.

That was the case with College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) staff members when they designed a site to tell the public about wild rice research happening at the University.

CFANS staff worked with librarians to identify and add wild rice publications to Experts@Minnesota, where users link to other work by the researchers and the University. Then they added the Experts Website Widget to the Publications page on their new Drupal-based site.

The JavaScript widget only requires the designer to use the ID for the person or organization, and choose the desired citation style. When someone views the page, the Widget populates the list of publications automatically, so it's always as up to date as the Experts site.

Since it's JavaScript, the Widget can be added to virtually any UMN-hosted website.

Contact us for a lightweight way to add a list of publications to your website.

Highlight your facility's contributions to research

The University Imaging Centers (UIC) is both an external and internal service organization. UIC's Operations Manager works to promote UIC’s three facilities and their equipment and services both within the University community and to outside clients. Tracking the impact of UIC through resulting publications is part of that promotion.

Authors agree to acknowledge UIC in any resulting publications when using UIC facilities.

The operations manager reviews publications newly added to Experts@Minnesota for that acknowledgement text, and indicates that acknowledgement on the publication’s Experts@Minnesota record.

Rather than maintaining a list of publications on its own site, UIC links to its Experts@Minnesota page. The public page features citation counts and alternative metrics for each publication as well as (when allowed by license) links to access the full text of the publication.

Contact us to show off your facility's contribution to research.

Show how your equipment is used

Equipment purchased for an awarded grant or through the Infrastructure Investment Initiative (3I) can facilitate cross-discipline collaborations, reduce internal costs, and generate revenue from external sources. The X-Ray Computed Tomography Lab, housed in Earth Science and funded in part by a 3I award in 2011, creates 3D images of physical samples used in fields from geology to composite materials. X-Ray Lab's manager actively promotes the lab through small Google AdSense investments and other outreach.

The X-Lab manager added an Equipment record (and public page) to Experts@Minnesota for the Lab’s scanner and worked with Libraries staff to associate publications that made use of the Lab with the scanner record. The Earth Science liaison librarian designed a search strategy that will ease the process of identifying publications that acknowledge the Lab and linking them to the scanner record. The linked publications provide evidence for the impact of the investment and also illustrate to potential clients what kinds of research can be conducted using the Lab’s facility.

Contact us to market your equipment.

Advertise a group of experts when you know who they are

The director of the Educational Equity Resource Center knew many people at the University of Minnesota who were "working to close gaps and improve educational outcomes" and needed a low-maintenance way for people interested in educational equity to find out about and connect with those researchers.

Working from a list provided by the director, Libraries staff contacted the individuals and got their permission to add specific research interests and keywords to their Experts@Minnesota profiles. EERC staff then added a z-link that resolves to a search result for the keywords "achievement gap." In this way, individuals can edit their own Experts@Minnesota profiles to add or remove themselves from the list of experts, and are not tasked with keeping yet another profile up to date.

Contact us to group researchers together when they aren't affiliated with a particular department or organization.

Incorporate your center's affiliates for a more complete picture of the center's people and their work

When the Communication Specialist at the Institute for Translational Research in Children's Mental Health (ITR) looked at the Institute's Experts@Minnesota page for the first time, he knew something was missing. Although the page listed the core faculty--those with an appointment in the institute--the affiliated faculty were missing. With training from Libraries staff, he added those faculty members whose "home" departments are elsewhere but are actively engaged with the Institute.

Since such relationships are not in PeopleSoft, responsibility for maintaining an accurate list falls to the center or institute. But in exchange the organization gains a richer web presence and expanded options for keeping track of and reporting on related research.

Contact us to group researchers together when they aren't affiliated with a particular department or organization.

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