Ten (or so) Things to Know about the Resource Database
- The RDB is ‘readable’ for all visitors, but you must be logged in to ‘write’—i.e. add, edit, or make use of advanced features of the database. You may need to create an account first (lower left box).
- Once logged in, the RDB works like a highly-structured wiki: you can create or edit any of the five profile types: people, institutions, research materials, networks, and projects. You can also add to or edit the relationships between them.
Example: I want to profile an article in the database. This means adding and saving a 'resource' (the article), then a 'person' (the author), then connecting them via the 'add an association' button on the edit page for either. Authorship is defined by the relation between a person and a resource.
- SSRC Research Hubs are part of a connected system that maintains one master copy of each profile. When adding new profiles to this hub, the system will alert you to possible duplicates or existing entries in other Research Hubs. These can (and should!) be 'imported' into the current Hub, rather than recreated separately.
- Person-Institution Affiliations can be 'edited' to add title, date range, and status (primary/secondary) to the affiliation. Person and Institution profiles only show current affiliations on the main page, but will list past affiliations on a separate linked page. Yellow stars distinguish primary affiliations from other affiliations.
- Projects and Networks: Projects are conceived as formalized, focused, small-scale collaborative research efforts. Projects have ‘Primary Investigators.’ Networks are larger, more diffuse collaborations generally organized around broader themes or problems. They can consist of people or institutions, and may contain Projects.
- Research Resources come in many forms: articles, reports, books, blogs, working papers, treaties, and so on. A resource profile contains, at a minimum, bibliographical information and an abstract. The RDB is indifferent to the location of these resources: users can link to them offsite, or they can upload documents (if the user holds the copyright or the work is otherwise freely distributable).
- Users may 'claim ownership' over their own profiles via ‘My Workspace,’ which appears on the upper left when logged in. This confers sole control over the personal data in the user profile, but not over ‘associations’ with other profiles. Users may also elect to hide or reveal the contact information present in a claimed profile.
- When browsing the RDB, you can create public or private lists of profiles. These will be available in your Workspace. Public Lists will be visible to everyone; private lists only to you. You may also export these lists for offline use. Special list types—‘bibliographical’ and ‘people’ have additional export options, such as export to Endnote or Bibtex.
- The Research Hubs distinguish between ‘research location’ (i.e. a person or work’s geographical subject of inquiry) and ‘institutional location’ (the person’s location, based on their institutional affiliation). This allows users of the RDB to distinguish between, e.g., people working on China and people working in China.
- The Research Hubs use structured ‘topic taxonomies’ (i.e. we maintain it), but also permit user-added terms that can be promoted into the main taxonomy. This allows for flexibility over time, but it will always be a rough and imperfect outline of the field—never an exhaustive list. Please weigh this when suggesting new topics.
- Changes to an RDB profile must be 'saved' into order to become part of that profile.
- Etiquette: the Research Hubs are maintained by the SSRC for academics, practitioners, advocates, policymakers, and other producers and users of research. Because the Hubs are also a community-produced tool in which profiles can be written by third parties, the quality of the data depends heavily on the goodwill of the user community. SSRC staff reserve the right to make judgments about how these goals are best pursued on the site, including editing comments and excluding users who do not respect the purposes of the site. To report a problem, please write email@example.com