Today, I am pleased to announce the launch of the Interfolio Data Service (IDS), the latest offering in our leading Faculty Information System. An incredible amount of time and hard work has gone into making this vision come to life—both from our team and our higher education partners—and I’m beyond excited to share it with you. 

Let’s start with: What is IDS? 

IDS is our new product that further expands our faculty-centric approach to scholarly data. Combined with our market-leading platform, the Interfolio Data Service fuels a centralized hub of faculty data—and starts to showcase our concept for the academic data ecosystem at large.

IDS federates, disambiguates, and makes actionable the scholarly work of faculty and offers a unique validation process. Faculty are preemptively presented with matched scholarly output and have the ability to continuously claim these outputs as their own—which results in updated, accurate, trustworthy data for both the faculty and the institution. After validating, records are saved to faculty’s profiles in Faculty Activity Reporting, enabling reporting for reviews, accreditation, biosketches, CVs, and more.

Challenges

In conducting multiple years of research and discovery with our clients and Product Advisory Committee, we repeatedly heard similar pain points: 

  • It is immensely time-consuming and difficult for schools and individuals to compile the data, from multiple sources
  • Institutions struggle to accurately match data to specific faculty members—which Jane Smith is the Professor Jane Smith at their institution? 
  • Faculty profiles are not accurate, in part because there is no incentive to update
  • Manual entry and compilation are often the norm
  • Data immediately becomes outdated after a data import or one-time CV parsing
  • Data remains unreliable, siloed, and untrustworthy

Vision

In response to these many challenges, we developed the Interfolio Data Service to be higher education’s new path to accurate and reliable faculty data. While we have long supported API integrations of data within Faculty Activity Reporting, the Interfolio Data Service goes much further in breadth of sources, ease of regular data imports, value for faculty, and actionability of the data. 

As IDS evolves, institutions will have access to an ever-expanding network of sources. And, our data service will get smarter; the more scholars validate, the better our algorithms will become, so, for each institution, we can strike the right balance between breadth of incoming data and accuracy of that data. All in all, IDS offers a machine learning approach to reducing your scholars’ challenges to maintaining an updated and accurate faculty profile. 

You also might recall that last year we acquired Researchfish, the global leader in research impact tracking, used by hundreds of funders, universities, and research centers. With the combination of IDS and Researchfish, you are starting to see the possibilities of how modern universities can truly demonstrate academic impact through scholarly data.

Faculty Information System

During the current pandemic (but certainly pre-dating it too), institutions are under mounting pressure to manage costs while also increasing visibility into faculty contributions and workloads. This trend is echoed by Gartner and Eduventures, who identified Faculty Information Systems as a key way that institutions are adopting technology to support faculty and manage previously manual, burdensome processes. 

We continue to strategically invest in the interoperability of our four Interfolio modules, with the ultimate goal and vision of helping modern higher education institutions succeed. IDS is the latest contribution to this essential endeavor.

I invite you to join us for a free webinar about Faculty Activity Reporting and Interfolio Data Service on Thursday, October 29, 2020. Emory University will share a case study on how they use Faculty Activity Reporting and their planned use of IDS, and we’ll give you a deeper look at this exciting new offering.


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Interfolio Data Service enables universities and colleges to realize full impact of academic data

WASHINGTON, D.C. — September 28, 2020 — Interfolio, pioneer of the Faculty Information System used by universities and colleges worldwide, today announced the release of the Interfolio Data Service (IDS), its newest offering that provides faculty and administrators with a streamlined way to import, validate, and make actionable their faculty’s scholarly contributions. 

Interfolio’s experience with higher education scholars and administrators over the past 20 years has revealed ongoing inefficiencies and burdens placed on institutions around this process. IDS provides a holistic solution and decreases the high administrative load for faculty and staff. Used in combination with its market-leading Faculty Activity Reporting, IDS retrieves scholarly data from an ever-expanding set of multi-disciplinary sources representing over 230 million citations and 60,000 journals. 

IDS enables its clients to take full advantage of established sources of scholarly data. The data service handles the complex processing and preparation of multiple independent data sources into a single feed—which is deduplicated and matched to specific faculty through machine learning algorithms. Within the platform, faculty can easily review and validate each record before it is saved to their ongoing faculty profile. This validation capability allows faculty to claim records as their own, creating trustworthy data for the scholar and the institution. 

With its regular ingestion of data, IDS enables ongoing accuracy and maintenance of faculty records, and by extension, faculty profiles—for past, current, and future scholarship. This process stands in contrast to other methods like CV parsing or manual data loads, which leads to quickly outdated information. IDS keeps the data accurate as faculty members keep producing new research and publications. 

“As one of the nation’s leading research universities, we continuously ask ourselves ‘how can we better support our faculty?'” states Paul Welty, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Innovation and Faculty Affairs, at Emory University. “Given the importance of our faculty’s research output and worldwide impact, we want to offer an improved, streamlined way for how scholarship is entered and audited in our faculty activity reporting system and how it populates faculty profiles in order to help further amplify and showcase their great scholarly contributions.”

With its place within the Faculty Information System, IDS offers distinctive value for faculty, allowing data to be used within profiles of Faculty Activity Reporting, powering CVs, accreditation reports, and institutional storytelling. Additionally, with the integration between the Interfolio Faculty Activity Reporting and Interfolio Review, Promotion, and Tenure modules, the data from IDS can be used for faculty evaluations. This actionability of the data creates value for faculty to validate and approve the data, as it populates their activity reports and reviews.

“Scholarly data—coupled with the ability to harness the power of its significance—is the foundation of the Faculty Information System. The Interfolio Data Service, with its groundbreaking validation of federated and disambiguated data, centers faculty scholarship,” states Andrew Rosen, CEO of Interfolio. “The Data Service represents our continued evolution of the Faculty Information System as a platform and demonstrates our commitment to focusing on faculty and digitally streamlining historically arduous tasks.”  

The Interfolio Data Service is now available as part of Interfolio’s Faculty Information System platform. For more information, visit www.interfolio.com.

ABOUT INTERFOLIO

Conceived by academics for academics, Interfolio is an education technology company headquartered in Washington, DC, USA and in Cambridge, England, UK. Founded in 1999, Interfolio operates the acclaimed Faculty Information System for colleges and universities, the Researchfish impact assessment platform for funders and research organizations, and the widely used Dossier service for individual scholars. Over 300 clients based in 15 countries choose Interfolio’s technology for hiring and recruitment, academic appointments and timelines, activity data reporting, faculty reviews and promotions, and research impact analysis. Interfolio provides scholar-first products for the full academic lifecycle—from job seeking to professional accomplishments, committee service, funding award compliance, career growth and advancement, administrative leadership, and beyond. For more information about Interfolio, please contact team@interfolio.com.