Lab webpages are often relatively dry affairs, which is why it is so refreshing to see a researcher at Princeton being innovative with the way they translate their research. Rather than being a static list of publications, Ethan Perlstein has built a dynamic and interactive lab web page built on top of the APIs of some of the best research tools for academics.
The modular site features a blog, research outputs from figshare, altmetrics from ummm Altmetric, papers from Mendeley and PLoS and mini updates through his twitter account.
Ethan's figshare profile, available here, gives a good overview of the research outputs that he and his lab are generating on a regular basis. This allows them to publish and get feedback on research in real time.
By leveraging tools like this, academic content can be constantly updated, so people searching for you will immediately find your latest research, not your latest research when you updated your site 5 years ago. As has been previously mentioned on figshare, researchers are transient beings, which means that maintaining an academic presence on the web can be difficult. Hopefully the Perlstein lab can serve as an inspiration to other academics and research groups. The figshare API is currently in private beta, due for public release any day now. In the mean time, if you would like access so you can get started on your own dynamic site, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you haven’t got started with your figshare account, be sure to sign up now.