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Delivering Targeted Information to Local Research Part 2 Eric Zimmerman 05 Aug 1997 02:34 EST

First of all, thank you to everyone who responded to my query of last
Thursday.

Almost everyone has pointed me to InfoEd and/or COS, which leads me to
the conclusion that I did not explain myself adequately enough in my
original posting. So, I'll try again. I'll try to be brief, and I hope
it will be clear. I admit, that my thoughts may not be organized, as I
am still at an early stage of developing this idea.

Of course I am familiar with these two fine services, (InfoEd and COS)
as I am with FEDIX, IRIS and the NIH FastLane systems. They are ALL
quality services, but limited, in that they do not let YOU target YOUR
messages and information to your academic staff members. At least as far
as I can see.

A unique drawback for me is that most of the funding opportunities in
these US-based databases are not relevant for researchers "abroad", here
in Israel, for example.

There are funding sources in Israel and elsewhere, such as the European
Union, for which we may apply. My problem here is that there is no
central repository for the Israel-relevant information, and I do NOT
want to point my researchers in too many directions.

Furthermore, in Israeli universities, we pro-actively, perhaps to a
greater degree than is common in the States, strive to assist our
researchers ascertain information on grant opportunities and submit
applications, we generate in essence many "calls" that we need to
disseminate.

My proposed system:  The Targeted Information Portfolio (TIP) System

Goal:  Creation of a system of personal information pages for BIU
researchers on the RA WebSite.

Introduction:  Researchers, as all professionals, increasingly need to
digest ever-growing amounts of data. The trend of late is to deliver
targeted information to specific populations, reducing the mass of data
into manageable information, leading to a rich body of useable
knowledge.

Through the maintenance of a dynamic and unique user profile, managed by
the researchers themselves, we propose to develop a system whereby
researchers at the University will receive ONLY the information they
choose to their computer.

Information will concentrate on funding opportunities, financial data on
current grants under RA administration, a listing of conferences in
Israel, a database of resources and aids for the researcher, and the
like.

Access to the system will be username/password controlled. The system
will reside within the Research Authority WebSite, at
http://www.biu.ac.il/RA. This security system will allow for remote
access (i.e. the home, sabbatical leave).

Independent of this development, the RA is developing, an intelligent
automatic email generation system. This feature plays a prominent role
in the TIP system.

Together, the passive system (email) and the active one (TIP), will
serve to offer the research community of BIU state-of-the-art
information delivery.

What are my initial thoughts about the system?
I am conceiving a system that will create on-the-fly webpages taken from
data stored in a database. This system would...
1. let me channel my office-generated information to a target audience
(see NSF FastLane), whereby reducing information overload;
2. allow the research community to decide for themselves what types of
information they want to receive:
 by keyword, funding type, and funding source (see FEDIX);
3. allow for pre-defined searches of our Web-based digital library (see
CustomCNN On-Target); and,
4. present on one html page all university information that is
researcher-specific, i.e. payroll data, grant administration data, and
so on.

There would also be a pointer to:
1. an on-line form to update ones R&D profile in the university research
catalog; and,
2. to other databases where their data is contained, such as INDARD
(Israel National Database of Academic Research and Development),
(http://www.ISRAD.ac.il) currently in development.

It goes without saying that general information would also be available,
such as:
1. a calendar of
 a) pending submission dates,
 b) conferences; and,
2. messages of importance to the entire university research community.

In short, this system would be a one-stop shop for personal information.

Realizing that many researchers will NOT avail themselves of this
system, at least not initially, we will continue to develop a passive
system of targeted email messages, with pointers to documents on our
Homepage. At some point in the near future, I hope the "powers-that-be"
at my University will take the courageous step of doing away with hard
copy dissemination of mass quantities of paper.

A rough schematic drawing is available upon request. I would very much
appreciate your comments.
--
Eric Zimmerman    Research Grants Coordinator
The Research Authority at Bar-Ilan University
           Ramat Gan 52900 ISRAEL
    +972-3-531-8097 Tel; +972-3-635-3277 Fax
xxxxxx@ashur.cc.biu.ac.il ** http://www.biu.ac.il/RA