eagle-i and Profiles Integration: Leveraging the Integrated Semantic Framework to Connect Researchers and Resources

eagle-i (www.eagle-i.net) is a national network and open-source resource discovery tool funded by Harvard Catalyst. Its goal is to connect researchers with a variety of biomedical resources, such as animal models, cell lines, plasmids, software, instruments, and Core Facility services, while encouraging a culture of attribution for sharing. Two years ago, the eagle-i and VIVO ontologies were brought together and aligned under a common semantic framework under the VIVO-ISF to represent both people and the products of their research, including resources. Since the Profiles Research Networking Software also uses the VIVO ontology, it was a natural extension of these goals and efforts to incorporate information from eagle-i into Profiles RNS. eagle-i was designed with reusability in mind; its semantic architecture allowed us to present resource information in a way that was directly compatible with Profiles. The two aligned ontologies under the VIVO-ISF provided the backbone for data integration between eagle-i and Profiles. As a proof of concept, we began by integrating eagle-i content into Harvard Catalyst Profiles, the researcher networking tool for locating Harvard investigators. Using a call out to an eagle-i API, the Profiles database is refreshed nightly with information about any resources that a researcher has shared in eagle-i. HC Profiles then displays a short summary in that person’s profile, including laboratory names, resource types, and number of resources. The latest version of the Profiles Research Networking Software now contains an optional eagle-i extension that will allow any institution running both eagle-i and Profiles RNS to connect researcher profiles to their resources in eagle-i.