Profiles Research Networking Software Harvard Catalyst

Software and Documentation

Profiles Research Networking Software is available for free under a standard BSD Open Source license.


Community Wiki

Visit the Profiles RNS Google Group for additional information about the software not available on this website.


Technical Requirements

  • Microsoft SQL Server (versions 2008 through 2017) database server (Standard or Enterprise Editions)
  • Microsoft Windows IIS 7 or later web server with .NET 4.6.2
  • Apache Tomcat with Java to support the optional ORNG extension

We recommend a physical database server. Some institutions have found a virtual machine is sufficient for the web server. Database storage will vary, but an instance with 10,000 people will require about 100 GB storage and 16 GB RAM. Profiles RNS works on both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems.


How to Cite Us

Profiles RNS is a grant-funded project. Our continued support depends on us being able to report on who is using our software. Please include the following acknowledgment on an easily accessible page of your Profiles RNS website:

This service is made possible by the Profiles Research Networking Software developed under the supervision of Griffin M Weber, MD, PhD, with support from Grant Number 1 UL1 RR025758-01 to Harvard Catalyst: The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center from the National Center for Research Resources and support from Harvard University and its affiliated academic healthcare centers.
ORNG and SEO additions to Profiles RNS are made possible by UCSF's Clinical and Translational Science Institute, funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (grant Number UL1 TR000004) at the National Institutes of Health.

Profiles RNS Version 2.11.1

The key features of Profiles RNS include:

  • Import human resource data (name, addresses, title, affiliations, etc.)
  • Automatic PubMed article and NIH grant import and name disambiguation
  • Passive networks, such as top concepts, co-authors, similar people, same department, and physical neighbors
  • Concept clouds, concept categories, geographic maps, and radial graph visualizations
  • User editing of profile content, with full control over privacy settings and proxy capabilities
  • Optional ORNG/OpenSocial extension to support custom plug-ins and JSON-LD
  • Optional ORCID extension to create unique author IDs and synch profile content with
  • Optional eagle-i extension to connect to investigators' research resources.
  • Enhancements to optimize Profiles for optional search engine discoverability
  • Social network analysis metrics are calculated for co-author networks and stored in the database, but are not displayed on the website
  • Profiles RNS is a Semantic Web application based on the VIVO 1.4 ontology, with support for RDF, SPARQL, and Linked Open Data (LOD).

This version of Profiles RNS was released on June 5, 2018.

This release includes bug fixes and performance improvements for Profiles RNS 2.11.0, which introduced a new feature called Group Profiles, which enables site administrators to create separate pages in the Profiles RNS website for centers, laboratories, projects, or other groups of people. This allows a group to share information about itself on the Profiles RNS website and link to the profile pages of its members. Group Profiles was developed through a collaboration between Boston University and Harvard. View the Release Notes for a complete list of changes. The Profiles RNS 2.11.1 download contains upgrade scripts to convert a Profiles RNS 2.0.0 or higher database to Profiles RNS 2.11.1. In order to upgrade from earlier versions of Profiles RNS, first upgrade to Profiles RNS 2.0.0 (see below for links to older versions), and then apply the Profiles RNS 2.11.1 upgrade scripts.


Profiles RNS Disambiguation Service (Medline Publications)

Profiles RNS uses a Disambiguation Engine to obtain Medline articles for a person. This is an XML-based web service that can be used independently of the Profiles RNS software. You send the service a person's name, email addresses, affiliations, and any known Pubmed IDs, and it will return all Pubmed IDs that match according to a specified probability threshold. The Profiles RNS Disambiguation Engine works by first identifying "seed" publications that have a very high match probability, and then using the authors, MeSH terms, article title words, journals, and affiliations of those articles to find additional matches. View the Disambiguation Service Documentation for more information.


Profiles RNS Publication Loader (Scopus Publications)

Publication Loader is an add-on feature to Profiles RNS that enables administrators to import different types of publication data from external files, including commercial data purchased to extend Profiles RNS beyond biomedicine to cover an entire university or organization. This tool is still in development; however, a Publication Loader Prototype is currently available, which imports Scopus publication records obtained through Elsevier's SciVal Author Profile Refinement Services (described below) into Profiles RNS.

Elsevier is assisting Dr. Griffin Weber in his development of a tool to import data from Scopus into Profiles Research Networking Software (RNS). This tool will enable institutions to populate Profiles RNS with full historical publication records from Scopus, which is an abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed research literature containing over 20,500 titles from 5,000 publishers and over 49 million records. The database covers Medline titles as well as additional journal articles, books and conference proceedings from the scientific, technical, medical and social sciences fields and the arts and humanities. Purchase of the Scopus historical publication records can be obtained through Elsevier's SciVal Author Profile Refinement Services, which combine both automatic author name disambiguation and manual data review by Elsevier's staff to create precise, current and reliable publication lists for users. The data import tool will be available in Profiles RNS in mid-summer of 2013 and Elsevier will be able to provide feeds of Scopus data for Profiles RNS in Q4 of 2013. For more information on Scopus data and Elsevier's SciVal Author Profile Refinement Services for Profiles RNS, please complete this form:


Older Software Versions

Below are past releases of Profiles RNS. Institutions are encouraged to use the Lastest Version of the software. View the Release Notes for more information.

  • Profiles RNS 2.11.0 - Released on May 1, 2018 - Group Profiles, minor bug fixes, support for .NET 4.6.2 and SQL Server 2017
  • Profiles RNS 2.10.0 - Released on January 5, 2017 - NIH grant disambiguation, Live Updates showing recent profile changes
  • Profiles RNS 2.9.0 - Released on August 12, 2016 - Research Funding, Freetext Keywords, and Education and Training modules
  • Profiles RNS 2.8.0 - Released on May 11, 2016 - Flash visualizations replaced with HTML5, Almetric Badges on publications
  • Profiles RNS 2.7.0 - Released on August 10, 2015 - Active Directory and Shibboleth authentication, Activity Log
  • Profiles RNS 2.6.0 - Released on March 23, 2015 - Section 508 compliance, vCards, links to PubMed Central
  • Profiles RNS 2.5.1 - Released on September 18, 2014 - ORNG enhancements and integration with ORCID and eagle-i
  • Profiles RNS 2.5.0 - Released on August 5, 2014 - Performance enhancements and bug fixes [developer's release]
  • Profiles RNS 2.1.0 - Released on July 25, 2014 - Integration of ORNG with the Profiles RNS ontology [developer's release]
  • Profiles RNS 2.0.0 - Released on August 9, 2013 - Added support for Open Research Networking Gadgets (ORNG)
  • Profiles RNS 1.0.4 - Released on June 7, 2013 - Performance enhancements and bug fixes
  • Profiles RNS 1.0.3 - Released on March 13, 2013 - Performance enhancements and expanded Concept and Publication profile pages
  • Profiles RNS 1.0.2 - Released on August 21, 2012 - User interface enhancements, such as new visualizations and connection pages
  • Profiles RNS 1.0.1 - Released on July 3, 2012 - Full editing of profile content; standardized code and database object names
  • Profiles RNS 1.0.0 - Released on June 1, 2012 - Rewrite of Profiles RNS to use linked open data (RDF) with the VIVO ontology
  • Profiles RNS Beta - Released on July 22, 2011 - Pubmed disambiguation, active and passive networking, network visualizations