What is Expert Connect?

IC Global representative presents the platform suite to Elizabeth Kelly, Deputy Secretary, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, and the Hon. Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology.

Zoe Piper

ICG Platform Lead

@zoe_piper @ICGPlatform

Designed to boost industry-researcher collaboration, Expert Connect is a publicly searchable database of Australia’s research expertise. Profiles for more than 70 000 researchers from over 220 research organisations have been automatically created by drawing together data from IP Australia, The Conversation, ORCID, ARC, NHMRC and Web of Science.

Anyone can search for a topic of interest (using simple, non-scientific language) and find the most relevant researchers to connect with. Importantly for EMCRs, the search results consider both academic expertise and industry nous (so writing for The Conversation is just as important as writing a journal article).

On International Women’s Day 2019, Expert Connect added a new filter to find women experts in any field of research. Currently around 15% of the Expert Connect data is included in the filter, with over 5000 women profiled. This number is growing, without placing any burden on women to create and maintain yet another profile, but still ensuring they are easily discoverable in the same place as expertise more broadly.

Expert Connect is just one of several interconnected platforms within the IC Global suite. First launched in June 2017, IC Global provides the following benefits to researchers:

  • Get discovered by industry—Expert Connect allows researchers to be discovered by industry for relevant opportunities. Profile data is available via API, allowing organisations to include the full directory of experts (or a subset) on their own platform, thereby maximising the opportunities for researchers to be found.
  • Get notified of relevant opportunities—if organisations don’t know what research expertise they need, they can instead post details of their challenge in the Innovation Challenges marketplace. Challenges listed on the platform are automatically flagged with the relevant experts and/or the nominated institution contact point (typically the TTO or Business Development area)
  • No profile maintenance—while there are steps researchers can take to boost where they appear in the search results, no manual intervention is required to keep profiles updated. New journal publications, patents and grants will automatically be added to the relevant profile.
  • Use the data for research—IC Global data can be used for research purposes. That could include analysing the researchers in a given field (for example, where they are located and how they are connected, or finding researchers to collaborate with), or using the InnovationMap to overlay and visualise relevant datasets.

If you’re an Australian researcher, there’s a good chance you already have a profile on Expert Connect. While there’s nothing you need to do to update it, there are actions you can take to boost where you appear in the search results and make sure you receive relevant notifications about Innovation Challenges (remember, it’s not just academic merit, but also industry engagement that counts here):

  • Claim your profile on Expert Connect—profile verification takes less than five minutes and indicates your interest in connecting with industry. Simply register on the site, search for your name, click ‘claim your profile’ and follow the prompts. By default, the ‘Contact’ button on your profile sends the enquiry to the nominated contact point at your institution, but once you've claimed your profile you can opt to be contacted directly. Profiles that have been claimed appear higher in the search results.
  • Update your ORCID profile—if you can maintain only one profile, maintain this one! It provides a unique identifier which easily links to records of your outputs and isn’t lost when you change organisations. Please make sure your ORCID data is public, and you include your current institutional affiliation. Adding your field of research will also help us send relevant enquiries and innovation challenge opportunities your way.
  • Update your author profile and write regularly on The Conversation—every time you write a new article it will automatically appear on your Expert Connect profile and help you appear higher in the search results.
  • Update your organisational profile—make sure your employer has your latest profile information (e.g. update your university staff directory) and ensure that they are an IC Global partner.
  • Alert us to any profile gaps—if you are aware of other data sources, we should be drawing on to complete your profile, please let us know.

If you aren’t appearing yet, sign up with ORCID (ensuring your data is public and your current institutional affiliation is listed) or become a contributing author on The Conversation to have your Expert Connect profile automatically created.

Powered by CSIRO, IC Global has been developed in collaboration with over 70 partners from across industry, research and government. The team are always open to ideas and suggestions about how to enhance the work they’re doing and encourage any potential collaborators to get in touch.

© 2020 Australian Academy of Science