Faculty Research Assets at Harvard Business School: an Interview with Melissa Shaffer

Thursday, March 21, Smith Academic Technology Center, Room 321*, 4 - 6 p.m.,  Bentley University,  175 Forest Street, Waltham, MA 02451.  #57 on map Campus Map.

* Smith Academic Tech. Ctr. is the location for our February and March, 2013 meetings only. Then we are back to Morison Hall.

SPEAKER: Melissa Shaffer, Director, Digital Content Program at Harvard Business School

TOPIC: Capture of primary research content from print to electronic formats has had a steady migration path since the late 1970s to the present when new content is exclusively digital. With the emergence of Web searching in the 1990s, technologies began to emerge to support content capture and retrieval to support public access through academic and public libraries, as well as for scholarly research in graduate schools and businesses. Melissa Shaffer has been at the forefront of this revolution since early days and has recently been engaged in the roll-out of a new faculty research database at Harvard Business School. The challenges of migrating from an internally developed digital system to a SharePoint platform are among the topics we will ask Melissa about in this interview with an expert from the field.

[After the meeting: We had a far ranging discussion that focused on Melissa's progression from her days working on AI search project Mercury at Carnegie Mellon, to Faxon as a database content specialist before she went to North Dakota working on a groundbreaking data transmission project, packaging and transmitting meteorological satellite data to the farm community. Farmers were the data consumers of the ND venture and they picked up the information on desktop computers at their farms to guide their decisions about irrigation, fertilizer and seed distribution. Then at search engine developer Northern Light, Melissa managed the task of making licensed content accessible via a web interface in the early days of the Internet. In her current work at Harvard Business School Melissa is now managing and contributing to a number of projects at the business school and on committees working to unify content access across the university. Melissa shared stories of the taxonomy, metadata management and search efforts that led up to the deployment of the Research Information System containing faculty content. In its current form you can visit the site here:

Harvard Business School. Faculty Research website: http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/search.aspx?cnt=15&sort=Descending&df=1

This was a great session and a wonderful bunch of lessons in how our content access initiatives to work with knowledge assets have evolved using database technologies and techniques to make content more findable; Melissa has been active and contributed at so many junctures in the journey.]

BIOGRAPHY: Melissa Shaffer has undertaken roles in digital content management and retrieval for over twenty years. She began her career at Carnegie Mellon, Faxon Research Services and North Dakota State University before assuming a position as Director,  Database Development at Northern Light, one of the early Web search engines. She has been at Harvard Business School since 1998 in several roles including Deputy Director of Baker Library and Director, Information Management Services. In her current role as Director of the Digital Content Program, she has responsibility for the strategic aspects of content produced and acquired by the faculty at Harvard Business School.

PLEASE PLEASE Register even if you are not certain you can attend so we have an accurate estimate of attendees for handouts. If you then make a decision not to attend, please use the registration link and note in the comments field that you will not attend.

NOTE: The registration page has changed and you will be directed to another site where the registration form resides. It is now hosted by lwmtechnology.com and is legitimate.

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