New website aims to close gap between researchers and technology

Whether it’s software to analyze or manipulate data, extra computing power for a short period of time, or hands-on instruction that helps a researcher select the best tool, researchers at Illinois have always sought out tools and trainings that enable, further or enhance their work. Yet investigation into the needs of campus researchers uncovered a gap between available resources and the means to find and use them.

Members of the Research IT team at Technology Services conducted their own research during an initiative called the Year of Cyber Infrastructure and discovered, importantly, that campus researchers often were not aware of technology tools or training opportunities, and that when they did know, those resources were difficult to find.

The solution was a brand-new portal at researchit.illinois.edu. The website is organized simply by resources, research news and trainings, and is a gateway to those resources, events, and research news that can enhance any researcher’s knowledge and work at Illinois.

Karen Hogenboom, Head of the Scholarly Commons and Associate Professor of Library Administration, was part of the group that assisted with the portal’s database design. She was involved from the beginning of the project and indicated that the site will have immediate benefits for her work and throughout campus.

"We have a specific goal for the Scholarly Commons of trying to connect people with help in methodologies like digital humanities or things that involve a lot of computing power. It will be a great tool for us. We’ve tried to keep up a list ourselves of where to send people, but this is going to be much more robust.”

Researchers can be confident that when they visit researchit.illinois.edu that they will have a wide range of services and tools available to them in only a few clicks, Hogenboom noted.

"It is comprehensive. Any help with research technology on campus should be represented there, and Research IT is committed to keeping it up to date. It replaces the word of mouth [about how to find or access resources] that takes years to develop.”

One of the most important things to know about the portal is that it serves researchers in all disciplines, according to Tracy Smith, Director of Research IT.  

"Dozens of campus collaborators provided ideas and tools resulting in an incredible campus resource,” explained Smith.  “We are expecting more ideas from researchers themselves as the portal begins to be widely used,” she said.

The portal is an initiative of Research IT, which aims to bridge any gaps that may exist between researchers and the technology that enables research. Research IT partners with units, researchers, and IT Professionals to provide the best possible collaborations to assist research.

Research is collaborative by design. Therefore collaboration was essential to providing the easiest access and most information about resources. The Research IT Portal is a partnership between Technology Services, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), the School of Information Sciences (iSchool), Engineering IT, the University Library, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR).

Hogenboom is proud that the partnership has led to such a positive result.

"I am really excited that we were able to do this in partnership with Technology Services.
A service like this is something we thought about doing, but there was no way for us to do ourselves and sustain it. It is a very effective partnership and really exciting for me and for the Scholarly Commons,” she said.

The Research IT team is already gathering feedback in order to continue closing the gap between researchers and technology.
"We like to think of this as a foundation to build upon,” explained Amy Hovious, Research IT Portal Project Lead. “We want the Research IT Portal to grow and evolve with input from those using the system. Our goal is to let the campus community guide where the portal goes to best meet their needs. We’re already investigating what to include in the next version and beyond,” she said.

A student participates in a flash mob Get Cool Stuff and Save Money as an Illinois StudentThis article was created by a Technology Services student employee. Our student employees attend, engage, and report on campus events that feature technology. Students provide a unique perspective on...
A student uses a 3d printer Become A Maker With CUC Fab LabThis article was created by a Technology Services student employee. Our student employees attend, engage, and report on campus events that feature technology. Students provide a unique perspective on...
Cultures in petri dishes What Makes Us HumanIn a lab in Ireland, mice are drowning. Well, to be fair, it’s not so much that they’re drowning as that they are refusing to swim. The water is too big, their muscles are too small, and no one is...
cybersecurity Keeping Your Data Private1,042,000,000,000. That’s the number of Tweets that have been archived by the Library of Congress since 2006. An additional 400 million Tweets are archived daily. Not only does the U.S. government...
A student studies her laptop What An Illinois Cybersecurity Scholarship Can Do For YouJanuary 28th is National Data Privacy Day. Illinois is one of a handful of institutions to receive support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for students interested in studying cybersecurity...
A montage of W2 forms Set up 2FA to get your W-2If you are a University of Illinois employee there's something important you need to know ahead of tax season.In order to help protect valuable data like your electronic tax statements or your...
Students talk together at the University of Illinois Students Explore Data, Career Opportunities at SAS DayWhen Alan Kessler, B.S., Actuarial Science ‘13, was an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, he was doing what all students do: figuring out where he wanted to work after graduation. Given his...
Students watch laptop together CaptureSpace Upgrade Makes Recording and Sharing Videos EasierTechnology Services is pleased to announce that we have upgraded the Kaltura CaptureSpace Lite desktop recording application to the full-featured CaptureSpace. This upgrade makes it even easier to...
Students walk across snowy quad The Technology Behind Dial-A-CarolThis article was created by a Technology Services student employee. Our student employees attend, engage, and report on campus events that feature technology. Students provide a unique perspective on...
Students walk on the quad in the fall Meet the New Course ExplorerThis article was created by a Technology Services student employee. Our student employees attend, engage, and report on campus events that feature technology. Students provide a unique perspective on...
Snow on the Main Quad Set Up Password Recovery Before You Leave for Winter Break Leaving for Winter Break? Set up password recovery at identity.uillinois.edu before you go! With password recovery, you can reset your password by text message, a voice call to a phone number, or by...
Two kids are very excited to use a laptop. Do Not Let Your Password ExpireEvery NetID password at the University of Illinois expires annually. You will be locked out of your email, campus WiFi, and a variety of services if you do not set a new password before your old...
A discussion section at Illinois Serving Customers Better with the KnowledgebaseRing, ring, goes the telephone, its shrill twang bouncing off the basement walls of Reynholm Industries.“Hello, IT,” answers a polite, but disconcerting, voice. It’s a bit off...
A student looking at her phone in front of Foellinger Auditorium New App Makes Using Illinois Compass 2G easierTechnology Services is pleased to announce that a new mobile app has been released that can be used to access Illinois Compass 2g course content. The new app is called Bb Student, and it will replace...
Increased Security for Off-campus Computers Will Help Thwart CyberattacksAs part of the University of Illinois' ongoing battle against cyberattacks, Technology Services is implementing changes to how people who are away from campus connect to on-campus resources. These...
Champaign-Urbana from the air Networked Urbanism and the New CitizenThis article was created by a Technology Services student employee. Our student employees attend, engage, and report on campus events that feature technology. Students provide a unique perspective on...
Person walks path at Allerton Park and Retreat Center Ending Support for McAfee Products on University ComputersIf your University computer or device is using McAfee antivirus or encryption software, you need to switch to a new solution by the end of 2016.  Effective January 1, 2017, the University of...
A laptop screen Phishing Scam Targeting Faculty */ Technology Services would like to draw your attention to a particularly well-designed email scam that is targeting researchers at the University of Illinois. This phishing scam attempts to steal...
Seal in the Illini Union Bookstore Amazon Pick Up spot coming to Illini Union BookstoreThis article was created by a Technology Services student employee. Our student employees attend, engage, and report on campus events that feature technology. Students provide a unique perspective on...
Virtual Realities in the English Building: Exploring the New Video Game ClassroomThis article was created by a Technology Services student employee. Our student employees attend, engage, and report on campus events that feature technology. Students provide a unique perspective on...

Pages