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Science portal goes online

(Vienna, 22 Dec. 2010) With the relaunch of the “Science & Research” section, the third major part of the MedUni Vienna homepage has been revised after “Organisation” and “Education”. A “research portal” was created in close cooperation between the Public Relations and Research Support Departments. Professor Markus Müller, head of the Research Support Unit, reports on what he is expecting from the new platform.

Today MedUni Vienna’s new research portal went online and features a new design and also a new structure. What was the intention behind this relaunch?

Müller: Our primary goal was to intensify the flow of information on current research activities at MedUni Vienna both internally and also externally. An information and service page should also be created for scientists at MedUni Vienna from which relevant and also strategically important information, including the development plan, for example, can be retrieved quickly and in a clearly arranged manner.

To what extent does the website provide service?

Müller: Apart from specific research contents and improved presentation of the successes of individual employees or teams of researchers, there are two major sets of themes which need to be communicated better both internally and externally: (1) research infrastructure and (2) research management. We have therefore presented these two sets of themes separately.

In area (1) research infrastructure these are the known internal, organisational unit-independent research units and also our nationally funded major projects such as special research areas of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF-SFBs), Christian Doppler Laboratories, Ludwig Boltzmann clusters and Max F. Perutz Laboratories. For me one particularly important aspect is the improved network to in-house facilities which provide specific research know-how, in particular our recently set-up core facilities and also the likes of our infrastructure in the field of molecular in vivo imaging.

Area (2) research management provides important information on internal administrative and ethical rules of research and contacts for professionally and successfully carrying out research projects on to the generation of patents and company spin-offs. A scientist will have to deal with many of the listed areas sooner or later as part of a research project. Hidden behind the surface of the keywords there are then links to further information or competent contact partners.

In your opinion: how comprehensively is scientific activity at MedUni Vienna presented on the new homepage?

Müller: At the same time as the research portal the pages of the research support, technology transfer and the research service and participation company FSB (Forschungsservice und –beteiligungs GmbH) areas and the imaging platform have also been completely newly created. Back in the spring when the Anna Spiegel Research Building opened, the core facilities located there went online. This means the scientific service at MedUni Vienna in particular is presented in an up-to-date fashion. Scientific activity in the centres and clinics should be reflected in many news announcements.

There are also many links to external pages on the portal

Müller: This is also a result of our high demands in terms of service and functionality. National and international funding authorities, PhD programmes and also partner institutions like the Research Center for Molecular Medicine CEMM are important addresses outside of our University. With a strong presence on our research portal we also want to create a stronger network.

“Social bookmarks” can be found for the first time on the pages of the Medical University of Vienna

Müller: Whatever your personal opinion of facebook, twitter and other social media, we can no longer imagine a modern networked world without these online networks. For us as a university they are a potentially important communication tool which we want to use to improve the profile of MedUni Vienna and to encourage a better exchange of information and opinions.

Do you see the site as comparable with other medical universities or do investments still need to be made here?

Müller: Similar websites of top international universities were analysed in the planning phase of our research portal. The structure of the portal - within the framework of the predefined MedUni Vienna layout - was based on this preliminary work. So I think we have no reason to fear comparison with other institutions, but of course a project like this grows and lives with the active involvement of all employees. In this respect the website launched today is a basic framework which we want to continue to develop in cooperation with all scientists at the University.