Requirements for expertise location systems in biomedical science and the Semantic Web

Titus Schleyer, Heiko Spallek, Brian S. Butler, Sushmita Subramanian, Daniel Weiss, M. Louisa Poythress, Phijarana Rattanathikum, Gregory Mueller

2 Scopus citations


Recent trends in science are increasing the need for researchers to form collaborations. To date, however, electronic systems have played only a minor role in helping scientists do so. This study used a literature review, and contextual inquiries and semistructured interviews with biomedical scientists to develop a preliminary set of requirements for electronic systems designed to help optimize how biomedical researchers choose collaborators. We then reviewed the requirements in light of emerging research on expertise location using the Semantic Web. The requirements include aspects such as comprehensive, complete and up-to-date online profiles that are easy to create and maintain; the ability to exploit social networks when searching for collaborators; information to help gauge the compatibility of personalities and work styles; and recommendations for effective searching and making "non-intuitive" connections between researchers. The Semantic Web offers significant opportunities for operationalizing the requirements, for instance through aggregating profile data from disparate sources, annotating contributions to social media using methods such as Semantically Interlinked Online Communities, and concept-based querying using ontologies. Future work should validate the preliminary requirements and explore in detail how the Semantic Web can help address them.


  • Biomedical research
  • Expertise location
  • Requirements
  • Semantic Web

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)

Cite this

Schleyer, T., Spallek, H., Butler, B. S., Subramanian, S., Weiss, D., Poythress, M. L., Rattanathikum, P., & Mueller, G. (2008). Requirements for expertise location systems in biomedical science and the Semantic Web. CEUR Workshop Proceedings, 403, 31-41.