Monthly Archives: July 2014

The future of Academic Work: ResearchFlow(TM)

Over in the Chronicle of Higher Education, there’s a fantastic piece about the future of academic work. It’s worth a read!

Key ideas we’d point out:

As lawmakers, parents, and students continue to question whether a college degree is worth it, and as higher education struggles to reinvent itself, professors are sure to face more scrutiny about their workloads.

At ResearchFlow(TM), we couldn’t agree more. We offer lawmakers, parents, students, administrators, and of course faculty access to beautiful visualizations of faculty activity. ResearchFlow(TM) doesn’t just track articles or books. It tracks browsing habits, keystrokes, mouse movements, items saved in Endnote, and words. In this way, everyone from state governors to administrators knows how hard faculty are working to produce new knowledge.

Dedicated office space on campus may not always be a given in the workplace of the future, even for some tenured and tenure-track professors.

Indeed. This is why ResearchFlow(TM) is geared towards helping academics anywhere they are. Install ResearchFlow(TM) on any computer a scholar uses, and all the data is synced and coordinated in our cloud-enabled server farm. We’re on the cutting-edge of the new officeless work environs that faculty will no doubt thrive in.

Saint Mary’s College of California considers itself a teaching institution, and that mission guides the way professors there think about technology. The college’s Education Technology Group, led by Jeffrey A. Sigman, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry, awards grants to faculty members who want to use a new technology in their teaching or scholarship or test a current one.

This is fantastic! Colleges can use grant money and federal funds to purchase subscriptions to new technology apps, including, of course, ResearchFlow(TM). Free and open source software or older technologies (such as paper, chalk, etc), will not cut it when it comes to improving scholarly productivity. What’s needed is more high-quality, proprietary apps in higher education.

The title of the Chronicle piece is “The Uncertain Future of Academic Work.” We here at ResearchFlow(TM) feel that one thing is certain: change. And we intend to lead it. Join us today!

The Facebook Experiment

As many of you have probably seen, researchers at Facebook have teamed up with psychologists at Cornell and UC-San Francisco in a massive experiment to see how emotions propagate across that social network. The results were astounding: by adjusting a person’s “stream” by only a few words (positive, or negative), they were able to change the moods of thousands of Facebook users! Naturally, they’re interested in emotional propagation because they value the experience of their users. Simply put, Facebook wants us to be happy, and so they rightly seek the best algorithms to produce that result.

This research has inspired us at ResearchFlow(TM). We are, of course, the premier system to improve researcher productivity. We provide workflow solutions that keep researchers on task, guiding them from one idea to the next, and getting their research out the door. Administrators who work with us see results.

But the Facebook study tells us that we could do more. What if we find ways to not only make researchers more productive, but happier too? A happy researcher is a productive one, no doubt!

So, we’re announcing that one of our next projects will be to add emotional intelligence to a future release of ResearchFlow(TM). We envision this emotional intelligence system to not only monitor the researcher’s productivity, but her emotional state as well, and offer happy messages that keep the researcher feeling great. Imagine a researcher working hard on a paper about 19th century Mardi Gras festivals but feeling overwhelmed by all the research, when a message pops up:

You’re writing the definitive piece on 19th Century Mardi Gras festivals! Keep it up!

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling better!

This, along with our other future plans (such as TheoryPaks(TM)) will make ResearchFlow(TM) an even more valuable part of researchers’ lives.

So why not get ResearchFlow(TM) going on your campus? The future is ours — and it’s looking happy!