By AJ Cheline
August 29, 2017
Elsevier, Inc., one of the world’s major providers of scientific and information exchange and analytics, has partnered with UC Davis to advance two data science initiatives — one focused on environmental research and the other on the effectiveness and efficiency of research at UC Davis.
In addition to monetary support, Elsevier is providing each program access to their proprietary data and analytics tool — SciVal — which provides insight into research trends, performance metrics and access to data from 8,500 research institutions in 220 nations worldwide. The partnership also provides support for a two-year post-doctoral research position for an Elsevier Data Science Scholar at each program.
The faculty lead for one of these projects, Ben Houlton, director of the John Muir Institute of the Environment (JMIE), will utilize the funding and available tools to advance the campus’ OneClimate initiative — a unique holistic approach designed to leverage the broad expertise at UC Davis to develop practical solutions for a sustainable future in the face of a rapidly expanding global population. As part of the initiative, Houlton’s team will offer a portal for researchers, the public and industry professionals to search the breadth and global connectedness of JMIE’s faculty research. As a hub for environmental research, this tool allows everyone to see the global map and impact of science performed at UC Davis.
“Data is so abundant these days. We have to find new ways to use it to understand and solve pressing sustainability challenges,” said Houlton. “The opportunity to team with Elsevier in this new initiative will allow us to take academic research and put it to use for the benefit of people and the planet.”
The second initiative, co-led by Duncan Temple Lang, director of the Data Science Initiative and MacKenzie Smith, university librarian, will utilize the funding to evaluate the effectiveness, efficiency, competitiveness and impact of UC Davis’ research, teaching and other academic activities using a data-driven approach. Their goals include improving the institutional effectiveness of large research universities and building more effective models for interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers.
“Through this initiative, we will provide faculty with new tools to find other researchers whose work complements their own,” said Temple Lang. “While researchers have natural affinity networks within their own fields, it is often difficult to find collaborators from other disciplines.”
These collaborations are the result of an ongoing partnership between Elsevier and UC Davis seeking to advance research efforts through utilization of global data and resources related to scientific publishing. Additional collaborative opportunities are currently being explored, including publishing workshops and engagement with UC Davis’ new master’s degree in in business analytics.