Improving research visibility

The University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute (USC-ISI) needed an easy way for researchers to exchange information and post updates about their projects.

Richard Nelson, ISI's IT director, says the Institute evaluated many Web content management solutions before choosing Open Text's Livelink Web Content Management Server. The software will help researchers share data and study results with fellow computer scientists, faculty, students and other members of the IT community.

"We work with Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux and Unix platforms, so our Web content management system had to be platform-independent and product agnostic," says Nelson. "After reviewing 20 different Web content management solutions, we were surprised to find that the more expensive offerings aren't necessarily the best. Our new solution is simple to install and has an outstanding editing tool." Nelson further describes the solution as flexible, scalable and easy to use.

With the solution, the Institute's IT department can set up template structures to ensure all Web content adheres to USC's brand identity, including logos, format and fonts. The Webmaster can code the templates in HTML or any other native language. Once templates have been established, ISI researchers will be able to use an intuitive Web content management wizard to post or update information about their projects, without writing a single line of code.

"ISI researchers are passionate about their research projects and may not have much time to publicize their work or work on internal communications for the Institute as a whole," Nelson explains. "Our solution makes it easy to log on to a portal to edit content, preview any changes, or create a project description or personal Web page. We expect that the solution will significantly improve the way ISI researchers use the Web to collaborate and share information."

"Collaboration is essential for any organization, especially a research team like ISI," says John Shackleton, Open Text president. "Until now, ISI researchers shared data and test results with other colleagues on an ad hoc basis, primarily through e-mail and static Web pages that the researchers designed themselves. They needed an easier way to share content and edit Web pages, especially for researchers with no specific programming knowledge. With its new solution, ISI will be able to establish a Web portal where researchers can exchange ideas, highlight results and promote the Institute's expertise to organizations that provide grants and fund research."

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