UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

  • Email Subscription (Feedburner)

  • Twitter

    Posts on this blog cover ideas often discussed on Twitter. Feel free to follow @briankelly.

    Brian Kelly on Twitter Counter

  • Syndicate This Page

    RSS Feed for this page

    Licence

    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. As described in a blog post this licence applies to textual content published by the author and (unless stated otherwise) guest bloggers. Also note that on 24 October 2011 the licence was changed from CC-BY-SA to CC-BY. Comments posted on this blog will also be deemed to have been published with this licence. Please note though, that images and other resources embedded in the blog may not be covered by this licence.

    Contact Details

    Brian's email address is ukwebfocus@gmail.com. You can also follow him on Twitter using the ID briankelly. Also note that the @ukwebfocus Twitter ID provides automated alerts of new blog posts.

  • Contact Details

    My LinkedIn profile provides details of my professional activities.

    View Brian Kelly's profile on LinkedIn

    Also see my about.me profile.

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Privacy

    Cookies

    This blog is hosted by WordPress.com which uses Google Analytics (which makes use of 'cookie' technologies) to provide the blog owner with information on usage of this blog.

    Other Privacy Issues

    If you wish to make a comment on this blog you must provide an email address. This is required in order to minimise comment spamming. The email address will not be made public.

Has Google Replaced the Institutional Directory of Expertise?

Posted by Brian Kelly on 13 Sep 2010

How did you find me?” I asked Pablo Castro, one of the organisers of the University 2.0 course held recently at the UIMP (Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo).  “I can´t remember exactly” was the reply “but probably through Google“.  This wouldn´t surprise me – after all, if you were looking for a speaker for your conference wouldn´t most people use Google?

But what, therefore, is the point of an institutional directory of expertise? I´m sure most institutions will have one, containing details of researchers, in particular, their areas of expertise and their publications.  But are these being used or is Google now providing the interface to such content which may be held in a less structured form than the directory of expertise, such as departmental lists or personal home pages?

Or perhaps the researcher´s profile is being stored in LinkedIn? After all this service does seem to have significant momentum behind it.

Such suggestions are being made somewhat in jest. After all many researchers will not have published details about their activities on departmental Web pages or on third party services such as LinkedIn.

But in light of the need to be able to justify expenditure of time and effort on existing services and the need to be able to demonstrate the return on investment, it seems to me that it would be useful to explore these issues in more depth.

And rather than necessarily hosting a directory of expertise within the institution or relying on the uncertainties of Google finding results from a diversity of Web sites maybe LinkedIn could have a role in supporting the institution as well as the individual. After all a Mashable article on 10 Ways Universities Are Engaging Alumni Using Social Media has pointed out that “many universities are finding LinkedIn to be an effective tool to provide alumni with career resources“.

LinkedIn does have a developer network – so could it go beyond helping graduates in finding jobs and be used to help researchers make contacts?

One Response to “Has Google Replaced the Institutional Directory of Expertise?”

  1. Ben Toth said

    I think it makes sense to seriously consider using de facto standard services liked LinkedIn – researchers networks are often mostly outside departmental boundaries; and it might be more attractive than the usual static departmental web page if they were given encouragement and support and if the technical framework were put in place to make LinkedIn function as a departmental staff list/contact point/directory of expertise.

    The other side of the coin is consideration of which services universities are uniquely best placed to provide. A candidate would be the complete and accessible repository of its intellectual outputs – full text and open access, not just a reference list as is often the case today. This would be a great service to concentrate on, since the potential value to the university, academics and users is so significant.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: