The Next Steps...
The work on the DIOC project has been progressing nicely since the
funding period started in March 2006. In October 2006, the
Learning Center and the
were released. Since that time members have been able to update
their personal profiles and leave comments on most pages.
Here is a list of what to expect next in a loose chronological order:
- Research Opportunities Exchange
- Request Center
- Automatic Matching Process
- Career Development Center
- White Paper Center
- Starting a BioMed Central Journal
Research Opportunities Exchange
The Research Opportunities Exchange is closely related to the Project
Directory and will allow researchers to find help for their own projects
and to get involved in other projects which are of interest to them.
Hopefully, this part of DIOC will encourage the involvement of young
researchers in DI research projects and promote interest in DI
postgraduate and internship programs worldwide.
Members from the dental & craniofacial researcher community will come to
the DIOC with specific requests for help on their DI projects. Detailed
Web forms will gather information about the research problem and ensure
that their request is routed to an appropriate domain expert.
Automatic Matching Process
The DIOC will feature an Automatic Matching Process, based on the
detailed interest profiles of users. The matching process will ensure
that the right information will be sent to the right user in the right
format as soon as it is available. It is planned to automatically
generate a personalized list of the MeSH (Medical Subject Heading) terms
associated with that member's recent MEDLINE-indexed publications. The
integration of such a system into the DI Online Community will identify
researchers doing related work; assist investigators in the development
of research initiatives and collaborations; enhance the visibility of
research activities to those responsible for recruitment of new dental
informaticians; support DIOC's CAS; and route research help requests
from dental & craniofacial researchers to the appropriate person.
Career Development Center
Following models of some professional organizations, individual
mentoring and professional development plan reviews will be an integral
part of DIOC. We want to provide sample mentor agreements and mentor
guidelines. At the Career Development Center, new DI researchers will be
able to learn from more experienced members of the research community.
We will include detailed information on NIH career development grants
White Paper Center
One section of DIOC will work on the development of white papers for
wider distribution. Members active in this section will also work on the
compilation of a literature body used for evidence-based DI as well as
the controlled vocabulary used to index the information stored in DIOC's
databases. We believe that there is need for a specific and rigorously
developed controlled vocabulary for DI. Such a vocabulary should be
based on the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS).
Starting a BioMed Central Journal
This section of DIOC will address the absence of a research-focused
venue for publication in dental informatics. Working within the BioMed
Central effort already underway, the potential for establishing a
peer-reviewed, scholarly, open access electronic journal in dental
infromatics seems an obvious direction in which to proceed once DIOC is
well-established. A peer-reviewed scholarly open access journal that is
indexed in MEDLINE has the potential to succeed where new journals that
are publisher-defined and expensive may not have been successful in the
past. A virtual journal with a community of editors and editorial board
members drawn from DIOC adds not only a focused journal, but also an
outlet for the collective wisdom of the participants.