Megan:           Welcome to All About Grants. This is Megan Columbus. Here today to talk about a new tool called Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae, SciENcv. Here today to discuss this new tool is Dr. Bart Trawick from the National Library of Medicine. He's a Product Manager for SciENcv. Welcome Bart.

Bart:               Thank you.

Megan:           And we also have Dr. Neil Thakur from the Office of Extramural Research, who's been championing the use of this. Welcome.

Neil:                Hi. Thanks, Megan.

Megan:           Neil, can you tell us the concept behind SciENcv?

Neil:                Well, the idea really came from the scientific community. They wanted some way of reducing the burden associated with putting together biosketches for different agencies. The formats for the agencies are all a little bit different, but they have a lot of commonality. The community was looking for a way to simplify biosketch creation and management.

Megan:           So, Bart, can you tell us a little bit about how the SciENcv can make an investigator's life easier?

Bart:               Sure, I'd be happy to. So SciENcv, simply put, is an electronic system that we have at the National Library of Medicine that assists scientists in filling out their biosketches. It makes their life easier because, first of all, the form is there in front of them and it kind of guides them along on how to fill it out. They don't have to go back and forth looking at an example and trying to make a Word document match it. They simply fill out the fields that we have for them and it stores the biosketch for them, and then allows them to submit this for grant applications through

Megan:           Okay, so they don't have to look at a format that NIH provides. That's a benefit, but there must be more.

Bart:               Oh, absolutely. So the major advantage is that it allows researchers to leverage existing data that they might already have. So let me tell you about that. If you have an eRA Commons account and you have it linked to SciENcv, now you're able to prepopulate much of the form with your profile information that's stored in eRA Commons. So you're name comes over, your education and training experience comes over, fills this all out automatically. In addition, any awards that are attached to your eRA Commons profile is also made available, and you can add it to the SciENcv. This all prepopulates the form, but you still have ultimate control over how you want it to display. So you can go in, correct some things, decide to highlight certain aspects of your career for a particular grant application. So it leverages things that researchers already have, but it still puts the final product in their hands, so that they can best present themselves on a grant application.

Megan:           I know this has been developed by the National Library of Medicine in conjunction with seven or eight other agencies along with the research community. NLM hosts many other systems that are used by the research community. So there's integration with some of those as well?

Bart:               Absolutely. It was one of the reasons that we built it at NLM, because SciENcv was, kind of, a natural extension over processes that federally funded investigators were already involved in. So, for example, when you fill out your RPPR, your annual progress report, all of the citations have to be housed in a bibliography collection called My Bibliography. So the scientists that already have awards are able to go in, maintain a bibliography that tracks their compliance with the public access policy. This is sent over to eRA Commons. Well, this bibliography collection is linked to SciENcv. So scientists that are already curating this collection can now use these citations, put it into their biosketch that SciENcv lets them make, and this makes it all easier. They're already investing work in curating these citations. They're made available for them in filling out the biosketch.

Neil:                So just to expand on that, and the whole concept with SciENcv is to have a repository of data that can be collected easily, and then leveraged for use in multiple ways.

Megan:           So what kind of ways would you expect it to be leveraged?

Neil:                Well, in addition to helping, researchers fill out their biosketches, some of that information we may be able to populate into progress reports in the future, and the same data collection will be able to fill biosketches out for multiple federal agencies.

Megan:           I noticed the title has the word "Network" in it. Do you anticipate this to be a networking tool for scientists or for federal agencies looking for reviewers, or is that something that's been conceptualized?

Neil:                We haven't started to build on that, but the idea is that people will have these publically available biosketches. It'll be easy to find a particular researcher who has published a particular paper, what other kind of work they've done what their expertise is, and it'll be possible for people to form networks easily, I think.

Bart:               One of the aspects that's available right now today is that scientists can make these biosketches publically available, if they wish. We give them a URL. They can share this out with their colleagues, they can share it with their university. So it's a handy tool. They fill these biosketches out and they'd like to share this with other people they can use it as a public identity of theirs.

Megan:           So it's at the discretion of the investigator whether or not this is public or not.

Bart:               Absolutely.

Megan:           And then it's the biosketch that they share or is it a profile that they share?

Bart:               It's a biosketch that they share at this point.

Megan:           So they could have multiple versions of biosketches that get shared.

Bart:               That's right. The system allows them to have multiple versions of biosketches. You can duplicate an existing biosketch, and then modify it for a particular grant application. You have control whether they're public or private. If you make it public we give you a URL to share this out. And for researchers that are already taxed and too busy to kind of maintain these types of things, we allow delegation. So you can assign the task of filling this out to somebody in your office, an administrative assistant, somebody in your lab, anybody you wish.

Neil:                And the researcher can create other kinds of reports. In other words, they can, download their information into a Word document.

Bart:               Oh, absolutely. You can download it as a Word document, you can download it as a PDF. Behind these biosketches we have structured data. It's all stored as XLM. And you can even download the raw XML file if you want as well.

Megan:           So then in order for the investigator to submit their application to an agency, they're defining their biosketch information in SciENcv, they're asking SciENcv to pump out a PDF, and then that PDF gets attached to the grant application...

Bart:               That's right.

Megan:           ...for the agency?

Bart:               That's right. That's the existing workflow, and SciENcv fully supports it, because it allows you to download it as a PDF. But we're also looking to make things easier in future, so that we can integrate more tightly with existing grant application processes, so that one day you might be able to go to and pull your PDF directly into without having to download a PDF and upload it.

Megan:           Wonderful. What agencies are currently supported?

Neil:                The Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Agriculture, and the Smithsonian Institution are all participating in this project. And eventually biosketches will be available for them. Currently SciENcv supports NSF and NIH.

Bart:               That's right. One of the nice things about SciENcv is if you have already created your NIH style biosketch and stored it in SciENcv, you'll be able to say, "I want to make an NSF one and use it from the NIH style biosketch that I already have in the system." So you can...

Megan:           So, same information, just give me it in a different format.

Bart:               That's right.

Megan:           Fabulous.

Bart:               But this shows that I've already stored it in one format. I can duplicate it into a different format. And as we add on additional federal agencies, uh, you know, this...this growth, this exponentially goes out.

Megan:           So, who was the brainchild of SciENcv?

Neil:                This was a collaborative venture taken on by the federal agencies and organization called the Federal Demonstration Partnership, which is a collation of more than a hundred universities combined with federal agencies to work on the business processes associated with grants and contracts from the federal government.

Megan:           Great. Well, we'll make sure to provide the URL in the closing for... there's training materials and some videos that people could see about SciENcv, I believe; is that right, Bart?

Bart:               That's right. We do have some links to a short video on YouTube where you can go and have an overview over the process and get an idea of how to manage the system yourself.

Megan:           Great. So we'll make sure to provide that URL. Thank you so much for joining us today. 

Announcer:   To access the SciENcv biosketch creation tool, please visit www.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/Sciencv. Here you will find background information frequently asked question as well as YouTube tutorials videos on how to create biosketches using SciENcv