Penn State Research Database Help & Support

A screenshot of the Penn State Research Portal search screen

The Penn State Research Portal is a public-facing interface that captures research output at the university. You can view the research database at

What can I do with the portal?

  • Search for collaborators by topic - enter a keyword into the search
  • Analyze a block of text and find researchers with related work- enter a block of text into the search box
  • See a researcher's recent publications, and view article metrics such as citations, news mentions or Mendeley readers
  • Search for researchers outside of Penn State - in your search results, toggle the "Include results from Experts Community" option (includes other portal universities)
  • Import profile data to your Penn State Website using the Web API



Who is included? 

The Research Portal captures the work of those at Penn State who are active in research, either publishing or as scientists. The database does not include instructors or lecturers (except in the case of Penn State Law or the College of Medicine, where these appointments are active in research.)

  • Researchers university-wide (all locations)
  • Academic appointments in research – E. g. Professors, Research Associates, Research Assistants, Scientists, librarians
  • Additional staff when appropriate (institute directors, Deans, the Sr. Vice President for Research)
  • In the future, Post-docs and Graduate students will be able to add themselves into the portal if they choose. 
  • The University-wide interdisciplinary research institutes are currently the only centers or institutes categorized in the database. Expansion of centers is planned for future development. 

The inclusions have been initially based off of data provided by Human Resources to capture academic appointments in research. If you have a suggestion for a person or group that may be relevant to include, please email


Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I get help or correct information?

Pure consists of a public-facing portal, located at:, as well as the  administrative user portal, which includes profile editing and reporting tools. Some changes can be completed by each researcher by logging into the administrative portal with your Penn State Webaccess ID at More detailed instructions on editing your profile are available here:

For changes or additions that are not available in the administrative user portal, please complete a request here:

You can also email for any help using Pure or SciVal. 


Can I edit my profile?

Starting in the summer of 2017, researchers will be able to edit or add information into the following fields: 

  • Name - nicknames, other publishing names, former names

  • Titles - you can add titles, such as director or editorial positions. 

  • Organizational affiliations - for example, adding that you are an affiliate of a center or institute

  • ORCID, Scopus ID, Mendeley Profile ID

  • Profile photo

  • Links to Researcher Pages (Websites, Facebook, etc.)

  • Curriculum and research descriptions

    • Personal Profile

    • Research Interests

    • Teaching, etc

  • Education /Academic/Professional Qualifications

  • Fingerprints - Manually adjust certain keywords/concepts to lower association (no longer doing research in that area)

  • Curricula Vitae

  • Additional research output, such as presentations, links to videos, prizes or awards (coming in 2018)


How are the tags under my profile determined?

The tags are determined by Elsevier’s Fingerprint Engine:

  • “A back-end software system, the Elsevier Fingerprint Engine mines the text of scientific documents – publication abstracts, funding announcements and awards, project summaries, patents, proposals/applications, and other sources – to create an index of weighted terms which defines the text, known as a Fingerprint™ visualization.”
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques are used to mine the text of scientific documents including publication abstracts, funding announcements and awards, project summaries, patents, proposals, applications and other sources
  • Key concepts that define the text are identified in discipline specific thesauri.
  • An index of weighted terms that defines the text, known as a Fingerprint, is created.
  • The fingerprints are generated by an algorithm that analyzes the text of your publications, as well as all other research output (prizes, personal descriptions, media) that you add into your profile. You can remove tags that are no longer relevant to your current work. 
  • You can remove fingerprints, but you cannot add new ones.
  • You can add "tags" under your profile. Please visit the researcher help page for more information on adding tags. 

Who can see this information?

Currently the public portal is only available to users accessing the internet from a Penn State IP address. This includes all commonwealth campuses and anyone using a Penn State VPN network. 

The portal is set to be open to the public in early 2018. 

The reporting and administrative dashboards are only available to selected administrators, as well as users who have a profile in the database. 

How often is this information updated?

Publication information from SCOPUS is updated weekly. Data originating from Penn State is updated on a semi-annual basis. The media analytics (PlumX and Altmetrics) are  updated daily. 

Learn more about publication coverage and updates here:

Who is in charge of this project?

The portal is maintained by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research's Analytics and Communications office. 

Decisions and strategy regarding the information are overseen by a committee that includes the College of Medicine, Research Computing and Cyberinfrastructure, The Penn State Libraries, The Materials Research Institute, the Institutes for Energy and the Environment, the Office of Inudstrial Partnerships, Eberly College of Science, 
The Strategic Interdisciplinary Research Office, Strategic Communications, the Dean of Research for the Commonwealth Campuses, Prevention Research (SSRI), the Office of Research Information Systems and the Office of Sponsored Programs.