Core facilities make innovation more possible and multi-disciplinary approaches more efficient. Too often, however, potential users remain unaware of what facilities and services are available at their institution.
At the heart of this problem are two important groups: the potential users of a core facility, and the core facility directors, experts, and staff.
When attempting to bring more visibility to a service or facility, we realized that these two constituents really needed a solution that not only made these cores more discoverable, but took into consideration how facility staff wanted their core to be understood in the wider community.
Harvard Catalyst Cores is an application that was created to try to address the concerns of both people searching for cores, and those providing the services.
Instead of simply creating a list on a website or even storing all the data on core facilities in a larger database, we leveraged one of our platforms, eagle-i, to house the collection of Harvard and affiliate core facilities, and then applied custom categories that had significance to the facility staff.
This small application takes advantage of the semantic technology of eagle-i, but provides more local control of how potential users might understand the core facility and how it can benefit their science.