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SNU to Establish Internal Research Database

Posted March. 21, 2007 07:12,   


Seoul National University (SNU) is to establish a new “information repository” that will manage the papers and research files of its faculty members.

SNU announced on March 20 that it will set up a computerized database of its staff members’ academic activities, such as theses and patents, so that it can serve as a comprehensive system to organize the university’s informational and intellectual resources.

Once the system, which includes data on the professors’ past research, is built, it can expectedly be used as a tool to verify, and therefore thwart, plagiarism that has been rampant in Korean academic society.

It is known that the Office of Research Affairs at SNU has briefed SNU president Lee Jang-moo on a plan to install a database for the information repository in the central library and received approval. After consulting with internal agencies as well as external academic organizations, the university will start creating the electronic archive as early as June.

With the new system, SNU is to assign serial numbers to each of its professor’s works and manage its intellectual property rights more efficiently. For security purposes, access to contents will be restricted to those who are registered to SNU’s intranet. It is also possible that SNU will interlink its staff members’ research data with external corporations and evaluate their study results in order to boost industry-university cooperation.

“The system can help introduce good research results to corporations, thereby enabling them to be used in practical developments. The businesses can return reinvestments and this can result in better research achievements on our part,” Seo Yeong-jun, a professor of pharmacy, said.

“Some professors shun working with firms either because they have no idea how their research can be practically realized or feel such cooperation burdensome. If the university can systematically connect labs with firms, industry-university cooperation can be more active,” added Seo.

Choi Do-seong, a professor of business administration, posed a rather cautious stance. “Since some research groups or academic societies already have research databases, we should first consider what benefits a university can reap by establishing an independent system and how to differentiate it from the existing ones if we do create one.”

In a similar tone, Gwak Geum-ju, a professor of psychology, expressed concerns, saying, “It is true that if the university headquarters supervise its professors’ research outcomes, they can be more motivated and conduct research in a more competitive manner. However, they should be careful not to judge research performances in various study fields with a single criterion.”