Behind the scenes with Researcher: What does integration look like for GetFTR’s latest adopter?

8th June 2020

Integration of GetFTR on Researcher

Guest blog from Dr. Jonathan Cremers, Senior Product Manager, Researcher

Since the GetFTR pilot launched in April 2020 the team have been working with several new integrators to expand and trial GetFTR across multiple platforms and providers. The latest to join the team is Researcher.

In the first of our series of guest blog posts, Jonathan Cremers, Senior Product Manager,  talks about why Researcher joined GetFTR and what the process of integration looks like behind the scenes.

“Staying up to date with the literature is perhaps one of the most important tasks throughout a researcher’s career. It is crucial to determining where the knowledge gaps are and to avoid reinventing the wheel. But, with more than 7,000 papers published every day in around 30,000 peer-reviewed journals, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of emerging information.

Researcher was created in 2017 to help academics stay afloat in what we call this ‘sea of literature’. We all know, only too well, that keeping up to date with new papers is a crucial part of any researchers’ day to day life, yet this fundamental task is often incredibly difficult to carry out. This has been pulled even further into focus in the current pandemic that we are all facing.

Beyond the personal and widespread impact of COVID-19, for the researcher and academic community who are at the heart of being able to carve a path out, COVID-19, has highlighted the finite challenges facing researchers when trying to access and conduct research – lack of clarity over access and never a simple route to find research. The time that this can take out of the day can be colossal.

This is where, back in 2017, we came in – essentially building an app that enables users to have an easy way to stay up to date with the latest research being published in academic journals, currently over 16,000 journals.

However, on Researcher App we are only able to show the freely available information, so title, authors, abstract, abstract image, etc. In the apps, we have already integrated with Ezproxy in order to give users, who have institutional credentials, seamless access to the content they should have access to. One crucial aspect, however, was still missing: knowing which papers you should have access to.

Clear synergy and collaboration with GetFTR

This is where we saw a clear synergy and collaboration with GetFTR. By integrating GetFTR onto our platform we now have a clear and seamless way to make it as easy as possible for a user to see what they have access to – whether they are going to hit a paywall or whether they have access through their institution – in the blink of an eye before clicking on the “full text” button. This is an incredibly exciting development for us to be able to offer, and one that sits directly within our ethos and mission of making it as seamless as we can for researchers to stay up to date, so they can concentrate on moving their research forward.

We have been working with the GetFTR team to get this all up and running and there really is no time like the present for the need to have quick, easy and seamless access to research. In order to ensure seamless integration across our apps and ease the workflow for the user we have had to address two requirements which needed a little bit of development on our side:

  • University IDs: we have had to match the list of Universities in our system to the University IDs used by GetFTR to ensure accurate integration.
  • DOIs: we were already collecting these, but in order to ensure integration we have had to do a little bit of development work to ensure all information continues to be handled correctly, making the correct API requests and ensure we’re displaying the GetFTR icon in the right place at the right time.

These have all been minor changes/adaptations to our current systems workflow, all of which we were able to do in a couple of days. This was something we were committed to doing, as we, like the team behind GetFTR, see the vital importance of looking, as a community, at ways in which we can remove researcher’s workflow blockers to ensure that high quality research can reach the hands of those who need it, quickly and easily. 

One step closer to streamlining the journey to research

Integrating with GetFTR has been a way for us to ensure that we are offering a full service app to our users. We don’t want to be part of the problem creating a lack of transparency or ease of use, and so by enabling the GetFTR entitlement checks in the app, we are one step closer to being able to really streamline the journey through to research for our users. 

Our industry, and the sectors in which we all work in, continue to change – the way to move forward is to continue to take charge of the opportunities that digital offers – but to ensure that we are doing that in a way that supports a simpler, sustainable researcher journey. Openness and transparency is key. By integrating with GetFTR, we are confident that we are now firmly continuing along that path.”

If you would like to be part of the pilot, or want to find out more about GetFTR, contact us now.

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