The Problem: Two large challenges that researchers face today are discovery and evaluation. We are overwhelmed by the volume of new research works, and traditional discovery tools are no longer sufficient. We are spending considerable amounts of time optimizing the impact – and discoverability – of our research work so as to support grant applications and promotions, and the traditional measures for this are not enough.
Research is increasingly global and many interactions do not happen at a personal level anymore, but rather through online tools, from email to videoconferencing and online databases. Researchers have traditionally been identified by their names, but this has never worked reliably because of confusions between popular names (John Smith or Kim Lee), errors in transliteration (e.g. Müller becomes Mueller or Muller), and name changes through marriage. These name issues present an even greater challenge when we try to find out more about researchers who we do not know personally, for example an author of a paper we find interesting or an interesting speaker at a conference, or about the research going on in an institution where we have applied for a job.