Phase 2 - Linked Open Data

Phase 2 of DIRECT2Experts will build on the following recommendations to the CTSA Consortium Steering Committee from Strategic Goal Committee #3:

The overarching goal of the work of SGC 3 has been to discover and promulgate methods of enhancing the communication between researchers and institutions with regard to identification and location of:

  • Expertise (investigators, methodologies)
  • Research resources (tools, materials, facilities)

There is no specific mechanism or funding for individual CTSAs to initiate complex processes that would make this goal an immediate reality. However, institutions may be undertaking development or purchasing tools that serve this function in the near term. Therefore, SGC 3 felt it would be important to lay out some initial standards that provide guidance to institutions to facilitate communication and compatibility between systems.

CTSA SGC 3 endorsed the following:

Research Networking

  1. All CTSAs should encourage their institutions to facilitate research networking and collaboration by implementation of research networking tools utilizing RDF triples and an ontology compatible with the VIVO ontology to ensure that their expertise and resources are discoverable.
  2. Data on expertise and resources should be publicly available as Linked Open Data as a general principle to ensure discovery by computers as well as humans. All currently available public information should be linked to ensure the quality of information from the institution. Institutions will vary in the amount of information that they make publicly available but the value to other investigators is enhanced by quality and quantity of information.
  3. Monitoring of the research networking landscape, technology, and tools should continue to be overseen by the Informatics KFC or a group designated by that KFC. This group is open to individuals from CTSA institutions and others interested in this area. Their recommendations will be evaluated and approved by SGC 3 prior to presentation to the CTSA Consortium Executive and Steering Committees.

Information Sharing

  1. The coordinating center will play a role in dissemination of information about various tools and institutional policies of interest to CTSAs. Its role will be to develop a process for broad input from throughout the consortium by various experts and from various perspectives in any area, rather than developing this information in a centralized manner. The coordinating center will produce "consumer evaluations" that summarize the collective intelligence of the CTSAs in 1) the utility of IT tools, policies, and best practices to investigators and research teams, and 2) the value of implementation of IT tools, policies, or best practices at their institution in various areas of importance to clinical and translational research.