Online service matches compatible (research) partners

Caption: (L-R) Cathrine Harboe-Ree, Ailsa Chambers (Warwick), David Groenewegen, Fiona Colligan (Warwick)and Professor Andrew Coats at the launch of Piirus.

(L-R) Cathrine Harboe-Ree, Ailsa Chambers (Warwick), David Groenewegen, Fiona Colligan (Warwick) and Professor Andrew Coats at the launch of Piirus.

A new free online tool that connects researchers from Monash University and the University of Warwick wanting to collaborate was officially launched at Monash yesterday.

Piirus is a user-friendly tool that connects research staff and graduate research candidates with others in their own field or other disciplines, and also helps them build networks and explore ideas.

It was developed at Warwick in a project managed by Fiona Colligan, who demonstrated its functions at the launch.

Monash Warwick Alliance Academic Vice-President, Professor Andrew Coats, said Piirus would help Monash and Warwick researchers at any career stage to find collaborators.

“For postgraduate and early career researchers, Piirus can help them establish cross-disciplinary and international connections and connect to relevant researchers in their field,” Professor Coats said.

“Piirus can also help academics identify potential postgraduate candidates and connect with researchers in other fields, which may help with interdisciplinary research.” 

Monash University Librarian, Cathrine Harboe-Ree, said a group of Monash researchers had trialled Piirus and the results were encouraging.

“We’ve already had around 100 Monash researchers register and over 40 Monash-Warwick connections have been made through Piirus to date,” Ms Harboe-Ree said.

To use Piirus, researchers simply register and create a short profile with collaboration interests, research areas and methodologies. Links to external sites, such as LinkedIn, or blogs can be added.

Based on profile information, Piirus will suggest potential collaborators from registered researchers. Users can also search for researchers with particular interests, expertise or techniques.

Later this year, Warwick will invite other universities to join Piirus and Monash users will also be able to invite colleagues from other universities to register.

Piirus is managed by the University of Warwick Library. Monash’s involvement is coordinated by the Monash University Library. Both libraries actively explore the use of technology to enhance research communication.

Watch the Piirus video to learn how it can connect you with other researchers.