Tag Archives: Game of Thrones

Knowledge Transfer Ireland – Keeping Dead Academic Experts Alive….

Knowledge transfer Ireland is, as I have noted, rather error ridden.  It is designed to allow companies to find experts in academia with whom they can work. This was launched with great fanfare to be a new portal.

Lets say I am a company that wants to look for a TCD based art and design expert, to collaborate on a new project.

In I go, and select Art and Design, and TCD.

Hmm .. John Joshua, the Earl of Carysfort sounds good… classy. Oh, hang on … he died nearly 200 years ago…

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What about this foreign sounding gent.. Le Broquey. I shall get my PA to give him a ring..

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Ok, so maybe you are an architecture firm, and want to consult with someone on sensitive interpretations of norman and later material.  You find Edwin Rae – a wonderful American professor of art history who was one of the experts involved in the post WW2 years in returning to their owners art works looted by the Nazis. Prof Rae was an expert in Irish medieval art and donated thousands of beautiful photographs of Irish medieval churches and sculptures (including those of norman tombs) to Trinity. Through the generosity of TCD’s Art History Department these images are available through TARA (Trinity’s Access to Research Archive). If only it was possible to contact Professor Rae and get him to aid your company… he died about 10 years ago. As the Iron Islanders say “that which is dead shall never die”

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It is not just TCD. These errors abound in other universities.

Sadly, EI in designing a knowledge expert portal have ignored RIAN.ie (Ireland’s Open Access Portal) which provides a beautifully-designed and technically-sound extract of the universities’ repositories of actual research (papers, books, book chapters etc.). The repositories are also used to host lots of other things, making the most of the resources & storage space to provide multiple cost-effective services for the universities and univ libraries. But even it is only an aggregation of archives.  It does what it’s supposed to do very well. But it contains theses of past postgraduates and publications of departed colleagues as well as existing material. It and the open access repositories from which KTI are drawn are the wrong sources for a database of current experts. They should have used the current research information systems in all of the universities – just like expertiseireland.com did over 10 years ago (and so much better). They could have read the National Research Platform report or at a pinch asked any librarian or research information staff. Libraries nowadays are so much more than bukes on shelves – the modern university library is the cross platform organic heart of the university. Ignore and belittle it at our peril.