The Forum

Expert finder systems (EFS) and RIM systems have been serving universities, businesses, and the research community for more than two decades. These systems have become a major economic development strategy in many states and countries. The International Forum on Expert Finder Systems provides a formal venue for stakeholders to network, learn from each other, and help steer the future of this dynamic field.

After a successful launch in 2019 and 2021, the International Forum on Expert Finder Systems is back for its third exciting event in 2023.

The 2023 forum will welcome expert finder system practitioners from the university, research, and economic development communities to explore

  • Community- and system-building
  • Promising practices
  • Value proposition and sustainability
  • Platforms and applications
  • Role of libraries in research information management systems
  • EFS and economic development
  • RIMS, FARS, EFS, and analytics

Attendees will be able to share ideas and information about the current uses of such systems, the need for new features and functionalities to support emerging uses, best practices for starting and managing expert finder systems, and strategies for enhancing stakeholder engagement.

The forum will also continue to give stakeholders the opportunity to create a community of practice and explore the possibility of establishing a professional organization to provide leadership and develop ongoing events.

Who Should Attend

Researchers, practitioners, faculty, librarians, administrators, platform providers, and other stakeholders in the following areas are invited:

Expert finder systems

Research information
management systems

Economic development

Faculty advancement


Scholarly communications

Research commercialization


Related areas

Goals of the Forum


  • Stakeholders and their goals
  • Challenges in developing systems for research information management, collaboration, and economic development
  • How EFS supports economic development


  • Research on EFS community- and system-building
  • Promising practices
  • Platforms and applications
  • Value proposition and sustainability strategies
  • Role of libraries in RIM systems
  • Industry Uses of EFS
  • Researcher disambiguation strategies
  • Semantic Web, taxonomies, and ontologies
  • Use cases


  • Network with other stakeholders
  • Discuss challenges and priorities
  • Create a community of practice

EFS Ecosystem

Expert finder systems are directories, profiling sites, or social networking sites that employ knowledge management tools to gather, manage, and publish searchable information about expertise and resources. Expert finder systems may be maintained by a variety of providers--from commercial entities to research universities--using a wide range of commercial, locally developed, or open-source products.

Expert finder systems can support research collaboration, help bring new technologies to market, promote innovation and entrepreneurship, and contribute to regional economic development efforts.

RIM Systems

Research information management (RIM) systems are an important part of the EFS ecosystem. A RIM system provides infrastructure and workflows for collecting and curating metadata about research and scholars as part of an institutional process that may include the following units:

  • Library
  • Tech Transfer
  • Research
  • Communications
  • Provost
  • Human Resources

The data can then be publicly shared through an EFS portal. A RIM system may support multiple uses, such as activity reporting workflows, assessment activities, and faculty web page content, while also populating the EFS. Through this data sharing, a RIM system can make it a seamless process for scholars to participate in one or more expert finder systems at the state, regional, and national levels.

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