Labman: A Research Information System to Foster Insight Discovery Through Visualizations


Effective handling of research related data is an ambitious goal, as many data entities need to be suitably designed in order to model the distinctive features of different knowledge areas: publications, projects, people, events and so on. A well designed information architecture prevents errors due to data redundancy, outdated records or poor provenance, allowing both internal staff and third parties reuse the information produced by the research centre. Moreover, making the data available through a public, Internet accessible portal increases the visibility of the institution, fostering new collaborations with external centres. However, the lack of a common structure when describing research data might prevent non-expert users from using these data. Thus we present labman, a web-based information research system that connects all the actors in the research landscape in an interoperable manner, using metadata and semantic descriptions to enrich the stored data. Labman presents different visualizations to allow data exploration and discovery in an interactive fashion, relying on humans’ visual capacity rather than an extensive knowledge on the research field itself. Thanks to the visual representations, visitors can quickly understand the performance of experts, project outcomes, publication trajectory and so forth.