New RFI released: research tools used by the public (September 1, 2021)

OPA released a request for information (RFI) to learn about how the scientific community accesses information about biomedical topics. Specifically, we are seeking input on the research databases or tools used and what functionalities the community finds most helpful.

We also want to know what functionalities are desired, such as more search filters or ways to visualize results. Participation is voluntary. Your feedback will advance the fundamental understanding of how scientific data sources and tools are used.

The RFI takes 5-10 minutes to complete and closes on 10/15/21.

Share your responses with us here.


New OPA research on gender-based effects of mentorship (February 3, 2021)

The OPA team has posted a research paper examining the role of mentoring, and in particular mentor gender, on the productivity of scientists early in their careers. Such efforts have been limited in the past due to difficulties in unambiguously linking mentees to their mentors, and measuring the research productivity resulting from those relationships. OPA uses its novel author disambiguation method to investigate the role of self-identified gender in mentorship of trainees applying for NIH fellowships, applying a multi-dimensional framework to assess research productivity. The analysis finds that, after normalizing for the funding level of mentors, the productivity of female and male mentees is indistinguishable, and is independent of the mentor gender, other than in measures of clinical impact, where women mentored by women outperform other mentee-mentor dyads. Read the article here.

It has also been posted to bioRxiv (link is external).


NIH Funding for Surgeon-Scientists in the US: What Is the Current Status? (February 12, 2021)

Together with our collaborators in the Surgical Oncology Program at NCI, OPA published an analysis of NIH funding for surgeon scientists. The analysis revealed that there has been an increase in NIH-funded surgeon scientists between 2010 and 2020 and that these investigators have diversified their interests over time to include more clinical research in addition to basic science. 

Read the research article and an invited commentary contextualizing the results published in February 2021 in the Journal of American College of Surgeons.

iSearch version 2.5 has been launched! (October 5, 2020)

OPA has launched iSearch v2.5 with new features added to iSearch and the Portfolio Tool. iSearch is NIH’s next-generation portfolio analysis platform, providing comprehensive, easy-to-use access to a carefully curated, extensively linked data set of grants, patents, publications, clinical trials, and approved drugs.

New features in iSearch v2.5 include:

  • Functionality to allow the user to select the content fields to use in the Foamtree visualizations and save defaults
  • Increased record limit for interactive transfer between iSearch modules with filter functionality if the record set exceeds the new limit to continue the interactive transfer process
  • Option to export as an RIS file for use in citation software
  • Relevance score for search results is now an exportable field
  • Notice of Special Interests (NOSI) field added to the Grants module
  • Primary PCC is searchable and facetable in the Grants module (previously, only All PCC(s) and Main PCC(s) were available)
  • Clinical Impact flag added to the Grants module
  • Info icons are available in advanced filters providing quick access to definitions and help text

New features in iSearch – Portfolio Tool include:

  • Date Added has been added to portfolios as a facet and advanced filter enabling users to quickly identify new records, or subsets added on a particular date
  • Portfolio owner/manager can set initial default fields to view in record, table and facet view for all portfolio users via user preferences
  • Ability to copy an entire portfolio (previously, you could only copy curatable fields from an existing portfolio)
  • Info icons are available in select locations within portfolios providing quick access to definitions and help text
  • More robust warnings have been added to the keyword highlight functionality in portfolios to guide users

View the one-pager for a brief overview of the new features in iSearch v2.5: iSearch one-pager or watch the video tutorial for a brief demonstration of the new features. If you require access to iSearch, please send us an email.

The OPA training team provides virtual classroom training in the use of iSearch and the iSearch – Portfolio Tool. You can find further details, and register for class, here.

As always, we are interested to hear what you think about the tool. The v2.5 functionality has been added as a result of feedback from users. Please let us know what you think about the tool and new features by using the ‘Submit Feedback’ button in iSearch or send us an email. Happy searching! The iSearch team


iSearch COVID-19 Portfolio tool (April 8, 2020)

OPA has developed and launched the iSearch COVID-19 Portfolio tool, a resource for probing a comprehensive portfolio of publications and preprints curated by subject-matter experts to focus entirely on COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2. Our COVID-19 Portfolio tool leverages the cutting-edge analytical capability of the iSearch platform and includes peer-reviewed articles from PubMed and preprints from arXiv, bioRxiv, ChemRxiv, medRxiv, Research Square, and SSRN. It is updated daily with the latest available data, enabling users to explore and analyze the rapidly growing set of advances in COVID-19 research as they accumulate in real-time.


iSearch version 2.4 has been launched! (February 3, 2020)

iSearch is NIH’s next-generation portfolio analysis platform, providing comprehensive, easy-to-use access to a carefully curated, extensively linked data set of global grants, patents, publications, clinical trials, and drugs.

This page last reviewed on September 2, 2021