What is the Faculty Information System (FIS) Project?
Tufts never had a central database of all faculty and their scholarly contributions. Started in December 2016, this project aims to create a central record of all faculty at the University and provide a scholarly networking platform that helps Tufts faculty connect with each other, and that would amplify the scholarly contributions of faculty across the University.
Here are the key pieces of the Tufts FIS Project:
- Core Data: The first phase of the project revolves around the question, “Who are Tufts faculty?” We collected hiring and appointment records for faculty at all Tufts schools whether or not those faculty are paid by the university. We developed a new module in PeopleSoft that records these faculty and streamlines the hiring and appointment processes for faculty affairs across campus.
- Scholarly Activity: Once the Core Data piece is in place for a given school and we know who are the faculty of that school, the second piece of this project helps us understand how those faculty have contributed to the scholarly record and to their academic disciplines. This database of academic activity is created using a software called Symplectic Elements. Symplectic aggregates grants activity from the Tufts Research Administration System and teaching information from the Student Information System alongside its own state-of-the-art system for harvesting publications from a portfolio of bibliographic databases covering philosophy to physics. Elements automatically checks for new publications on a regular basis.
- Annual Activity Reporting: Schools may elect to use Elements to support their annual faculty activity reporting process. Elements offers a customized process for each school, allowing the use multiple reporting forms and multiple timelines.
- Faculty Profiles and Scholarly Networking: Faculty profiles from Elements will be fed to a searchable public profile platform that will foster academic connections across the University and beyond.