Leveraging Personalized Google Analytics Information for Greater RNS Engagement

Many installations of Research Networking Systems (RNSs) like VIVO and Profiles get significant web traffic. However, most visits are anonymous and relatively short, leading us to believe we are providing little more than a directory service. If RNSs are to evolve from a research directory into true networking systems, we must engage users much more significantly. We will do this by providing personalized, valuable content to researchers, the primary target audience of RNSs. 
UCSF Profiles gets over 100,000 visits per month. However, most visits are anonymous (only 4% sign in) and relatively short (89% are under two minutes). We plan to entice users to log in and spend more time within UCSF Profiles by offering them personalized content that is interesting to them. We will base the personalized content on our recent success with a ‘vanity’ email. In that email, we sent researchers easily-understandable statistics from Google Analytics, including the number of visitors and information about those visitors to their page. That email was very well-received, based on click-through data and survey feedback. Our plan is to build a dashboard page using the Open Research Networking Gadget platform to provide similar information profile holders can sign in any time to see. We will show them how often their page is viewed, and some information about those visitors such as geographic location and their domain. This information will be available under sign only, as that is needed to identify the user. We will promote the feature via the traditional means of email, newsletters and on the site itself. 
We expect this personalized content to drive engagement in a virtuous cycle. As we offer more reasons to sign in, more people will. That will lead more people will use more features of UCSF Profiles in quantifiable ways. That in turn will enforce the utility of providing users more personalized content. 
When researchers are signing more frequently, we can and will introduce more engaging features such as opportunities for collaboration. This will help fully realize the utility of research networking.