OpenSocial Gadget Contest

Adding new features to Profiles and/or VIVO

Cross platform research query

Proposal Status: 

·Research scientists want to know what others have done or are doing in order to strengthen their knowledge base.
·Research information resides in various publications/data sets hosted in a variety of public or private domains.
A research scientist can use his/her own research data to correlate findings from other research scientists in order to determine who has worked or is working in this research area, with a focus on what others have studied, who performed the research, whether the researchers’ area of interest is relevant to their own research. If and when they find a match, they can look at the data set for further analysis if available. This type of correlation can also be performed within their own data set
Develop a way to enable a research scientist to query online publications and data sets based on their interest (e.g., key words, etc.). Allow the end user to define which platform(s) or other filtering elements as part of advanced search. Once queried, show the result in drill down fashion, starting name, title, contact information, etc. Further drill down will show publications and data sets. The level of detail is based on data set. Publically provided data from a platform like Pubmed will be readily available. But if the collaboration is established among universities and private companies then those could be used as well. This is really a matter of how much we collaborate within and outside.
user search on keyword: brca
The system searches on various platforms such as UCSF research DB, UC research DB, Pubmed, cochrane, medlineplus, Europe PubMed Central, Amgen, Genzyme, Genentech, Novartish.....
Level 1 result: Publication titles, names, contact information, etc.
Level 2 result: The whole publication
Level 3 result: Data set used
Level 4 Operation/Result: Do correlated query among others data sets with option of including your own

This enables the researcher scientist to contact the associated researcher. Then if allowed and available more reference data can be queried whether from system or directly from the source (the contacted researcher).

A tool like this could enhance medical research and collaboration tremendously.

The system could be as simple as providing names and contact information at first, and then expanded by adding more features to enable complex queries.

Just a thought!


I like this idea. It could be expanded to, say, specific lines of transgenic animals, etc. Given that publications can have DOI unique identifiers, why not have identifiers created for any dataset that gets used or referenced in more than 1 publication.

Yes! Datacite is an organization devoted to this purpose. DOI issuance must be initiated by the individual who provides access to the dataset, and just FYI, UCSF provides this service through a new website called DataShare in which datasets can be deposited in order to provide access, and these datasets are automatically issued a DOI and QR code.

This is an ambitious and exciting idea, but it might work best as a standalone project, rather than a plugin for fundamentally people-oriented systems like Profiles and Vivo. Are there existing systems like this that could be embedded or built upon?

Hi Anirvan, Yes, it might work best as a separate project but since we are looking at research based collaboration it might as well be a good starting platform for researcher to realise the possibilities of how far/deep the integration/collaboration can go.  I worked setting up Nextbio's [] building blocks which did similar things. They might have api to integrate with others by now. There might be other players on the market as well.


Yes, this is a great idea! However, if the proposed gadget queries only a set number of databases (as exemplified above), the additional resources that may be avilable elsewhere (e.g. in numerous other databases and repositories througout the web) would not be presented. So, a truly comprehensive result would necessitate a full web search; but maybe it is acceptable to limit results to only those found on some number of standard databases...

Also, Level 4 (performing an operation on the result) is again a fantastic prospect, but requires a level of integration beyong the "gadget" scale.

Sorry, didn't mean to be "Anonymous"

As a result of technical feasibility review conducted by the Virtual Home team at CTSI, this proposal was considered beyond the technical scope for implementing it as an OpenSocial gadget. On behalf of Clinical and Translational Science Institute at UCSF, thank you for participating in this contest.

Commenting is closed.