Faculty Profiles Revisited

We've previously discussed CTSI's UCSF Profiles, but much has happened since then, so we thought it would be a good time to revisit this topic.

Faculty Profiles In Action

We've created a web module which takes information from UCSF Profiles and lets us present the data within our own sites using our own look-and-feel, as in the example below:

So far, we've implemented Faculty Profiles for:

We'll also be including Faculty Profiles with each of our new specialty site launches and updates.

Why We Use Faculty Profiles

We touched on this briefly in the previous article, but there are several advantages to using UCSF Profiles:

  • Information is kept consistent no matter where someone looks for information about a faculty member
  • All the editable information is kept in one place so it only needs to be updated once, and contact information is automatically updated
  • A faculty member or their assistant can directly update the profile in a timely manner, and therefore the web site, without any need for a web editor
  • Publications from PubMed are automatically added to the profile
  • UCSF Profiles has the flexibility to allow us to format the information we want to, and to choose (on a per site basis) what information is displayed

Google searches for faculty names account for much of the traffic UCSF Profiles receives. If someone searches for a faculty member, their UCSF Profile will likely rank in the top 5 of the search results. So even if an individual faculty member doesn't use or look at their UCSF profile, it's quite likely other people will still find it.

Keeping Faculty Profiles Up-to-Date

Both anecdotal and analytical data show that the specialty web sites along with the main Department of Medicine web site are increasingly becoming the main way potential residents, fellows, and faculty find information about UCSF, so it's important to present the best and most accurate information we can to help us recruit the best people.

One way to accomplish this is by having all our faculty have accurate and meaningful information within their profile. In addition to contact information and publications, we pull the narrative section. This section can be used to both highlight faculty research interests and labs as well as give some insight into the faculty members themselves, so we encourage all faculty to give some thought to their narrative as this information (or the lack thereof) will appear on both the Department of Medicine site as well as their specialty site.

Making Faculty Profiles Better

UCSF Profiles isn't perfect, and we've heard some complaints, especially about the automated PubMed publication pull. One thing we wanted to highlight is that the publication pull is adaptive: when you edit your publication list, it adjusts its way of associating future publications based on the publications you've added and deleted in the past. In other words, as you refine your list, it learns and improves. If all division faculty refine their publication list, the division may want to include a division-wide list on their website, as Cardiology has done:

Like it or not, UCSF Profiles is here to stay. The Department of Medicine is one of their biggest clients and they've been responsive to our requests. Rather than ignore it, we feel our best path is to use UCSF Profiles, and encourage each faculty member to provide feedback on how to improve the entire process.

Please send any feedback to webmaster@medicine.ucsf.edu.

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