How universities are using research management technology to become more competitive

Institutions are turning to solutions like Elsevier’s Pure to analyze and showcase their research assets

Yun Yen
When Dr. Yun Yen was President of Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, his institution adopted Pure as part of efforts to boost the university’s research performance and global collaboration. He talks about the results in this story and the video below.

Higher education is growing fast, and more and more institutions are thinking globally when it comes to attracting students, educators and funding. That makes the world stage a competitive place for universities and colleges, and many are seeking new and smarter ways to gain a data-driven edge.

Developing economies are at the forefront of this education explosion, particularly countries in Asia, where higher education investment is frequently viewed as a building block for economic growth.

As a result, university leaders are under pressure to boost research quality and work with institutions outside their own borders; international research collaboration is often associated with greater citation impact than research co-authored institutionally or nationally.

To attract those partnership opportunities, universities need sound data insights on which to base funding and development strategies, and the ability to report accurately on their achievements.

Many are turning to technology to help them collect, organize, manage and analyze the myriad data sources generated by their institutions.

For Taiwan’s Taipei Medical University (TMU), Elsevier’s research information management system Pure offered the ideal solution to a long-standing challenge. Although university leaders are proud of the university’s current status – TMU ranked highly in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016 and is the only Asian University in the QS rankings to be certified by IREG Observatory for Academic Ranking and Excellence for Asian Universities – they are not resting on their laurels.

TMU has stepped up alliances with world-renowned universities and research institutions, resulting in collaborations with 27 countries on multiple international research projects. Its ambitious roadmap to raise its global standings requires the ability to showcase its research and academic endeavors. However, because the university’s academic resources were fragmented across a broad range of hospitals, schools and institutes, there was little consistency in the way the university could showcase its research outputs. Using Pure, TMU is finally able to centralize data collation and research reporting.

Former TMU President Dr. Yun Yen explained:

Pure not only helps facilitate our ability to make better strategic decisions as an organization, it has propelled the institution to new heights of visibility that were previously not possible. That assists us in finding suitable research partners to yield mutual benefits on project collaborations.

Before Pure, information was often archived on systems that required manual updates by the faculty on a voluntary basis. This resulted in missed deadlines, inaccuracy and lack of consistency in how information was entered, negatively impacting on the management and funding of research projects. A lack of centralized management of disparate research data and information only compounded the problem, as incomplete resources produced poor searches and listings.

In 2015, Dr. Yen put the TMU Library in charge of finding a solution. Following a thorough audit of the scope and challenges involved, they realized Elsevier’s Pure could provide the breadth of support they needed, Dr. Yen said. “It was also because of Pure’s reputation,” he added. “It has been reputable for years and was recommended by colleagues at prestigious institutions.”

Elsevier worked with TMU to integrate the platform with customized requirements and compliance. To support the rollout, the Library added 23,000 publications from Elsevier’s Scopus citation database to create a foundation of profiles for administrators and researchers to update and retrieve information. Library staff also included nearly 10 years of publications from retired and resigned faculty to the quarterly updates for current faculty so TMU could evaluate changes in university performance over time. In addition, the university’s academic information was bolstered by prioritizing the creation of its academic employees’ CVs.

Connecting research information drawn from the university’s various sites on a single platform has made it easier for Dr. Yen and his colleagues to understand the full scope of campus activity. They can now benchmark research output performance against TMU’s growth roadmap and understand existing research expertise on campus.

Having a well-organized repository of up-to-date information has also led to a significant leap in grant approvals, according to Dr. Yen:

At this moment, we have about 300 grant approvals from the government a year. With Pure, we have a great tool to facilitate TMU’s research momentum, and we’re primed to take on the leading role now.

Dr. Yen shared his university’s research management journey at a Pure seminar in Taiwan in March 2018. It is just one of the Pure community events held each year. Alongside the Pure annual conference, where users can discuss best practice and learn from their peers, there are nine global user-run national and themed Pure groups, each of which meets two to three times a year.

Watch a video with Dr. Yun Yen

As President of Taipei Medical University, Dr. Yun Yen explains how Pure has contributed towards boosting the university’s research performance and global collaboration.

Research intelligence solutions and Pure

Research information is one of an institution’s most valuable resources, but it is often spread across separate systems in disparate formats, making data inconsistent and often incomplete. As a result, reporting on research output and showcasing an institution’s research expertise can be time-consuming and tedious, if not impossible.

Pure aggregates an organization's research information from numerous internal and external sources. Universities can:

  • Capture data across the world of research and reduce administrative overhead.
  • Showcase research expertise to the world with the Pure Portal.
  • Certify research information as validated and reliable.
  • Create rich researcher profiles with minimal customer involvement using the Profile Refinement Service.
  • Identify subject experts and stimulate collaboration through the Elsevier Fingerprint Engine.
  • Build and share reports and submit national assessment returns.

More than 250 institutions now use Pure, and it houses more than 185,000 researcher profiles. A strong draw for many institutions is the system’s ability to integrate with other systems, such as library systems and Elsevier’s Scopus database.

Pure is just one of the research management solutions Elsevier has designed to assess research strengths and inform decision making at each stage of the research lifecycle.

Learn more about Elsevier’s Research Intelligence.


Written by

Linda Willems

Written by

Linda Willems

After starting her working life as a newspaper journalist (covering everything from amateur dramatics to murder trials), Linda Willems held a variety of communications roles before joining Elsevier. During her six years with the company, she focused on researcher communications and edited several of Elsevier’s researcher-focused publications. She's now a freelance writer and owner of Blue Lime Communications.


comments powered by Disqus