Research Profile Ownership through User Studies: A Case Study in the German National Research System Video uri icon


  • This presentation will describe a case study based on a user-centered software design to develop a visualization of scientometric data in research profiles. The outcome will be a reference implementation for several software systems with application in VIVO research information system software as a starting point. One of the objectives is to achieve research profile ownership by enabling researchers to adjust individual visualizations, indicators and data sources publicly displayed on their online profiles. For the study, we combined qualitative interviews and workshops with focus groups, which included researchers from four academic disciplines (i.e., engineering, the humanities, the natural sciences and mathematics as well as the social sciences) and three career levels (i.e., research assistants, doctoral researchers and professors) in the German national research system. By national research system, we do not refer to a Current Research Information Systems (CRIS), but the system of all researchers that publish research outputs in Germany. To begin with, we completed 16 semi-structured interviews with researchers from all four academic disciplines. Following that, two workshops were conducted with focus groups consisting of 10 researchers from the natural sciences and mathematics as well as engineering. Due to COVID-19, virtual workshops with a similar number of researchers from the humanities and social sciences are currently being planned as an alternative. Our study findings thus far suggest that the study participants frequently use research profiles, such as searching for literature, their own profile or profiles of others researchers. Additionally, the analysis suggests differences between academic disciplines, but not between career levels. Qualitative user feedback contributed to an iterative process in software development. The results of this small-scale, non-representative study and the feedback have been applied to develop the visualization as part of our research and development project. The final steps of the user study will include the usability testing of the visualization with researchers.

publication date

  • 2020