A Look Inside Fingerprint Visualizations in Research Profiles

Fingerprints and Fingerprint visualizations in Research Profiles help users discover the expertise and interests of faculty members and organizational units at the School of Medicine by providing a visual summary of their work. Generated by the Elsevier Fingerprint Engine, Fingerprints and Fingerprint visualizations can be found throughout Research Profiles on faculty profiles as well as profiles for organizational units.

The Elsevier Fingerprint Engine mines the unstructured scientific text in Research Profiles using natural language processing to identify concepts or Fingerprints present in the text based on a thesaurus or vocabulary. Fingerprint concepts are also weighted according to their frequency and where they appear in the text, like the title or abstract. The Fingerprint visualization presents the identified concepts as red donuts, with the completeness of the donut signifying the weight.

The Fingerprint visualization shown below is an example of a visualization present on a faculty profile and was generated by analyzing the collective body of research outputs authored by the profiled faculty member.

fingerprint visualization

When generating the Fingerprint visualization for an organization unit, the Elsevier Fingerprint Engine analyzes all research outputs authored by all of the faculty associated with the organizational unit, as shown below in the departmental Fingerprint visualization.

Elsevier Fingerprint Engine analysis

In addition to individual faculty and organizational units, Fingerprints and Fingerprint visualizations are also generated for individual research outputs (or articles). To create the Fingerprint visualization shown below, the Elsevier Fingerprint Engine analyzed the title and abstract associated with the research output.

fingerprint visualization


Explore Fingerprint visualizations to begin to get an overview of an area of focus or expertise for a specific faculty member or organizational unit.

To learn more about Research Profiles, including requesting a customized presentation for your department or group, contact Laura Simon, research support librarian at Becker Library, at profiles@wustl.edu.

Additional information about Research Profiles can be found on the updated Research Profiles support pages.

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Research Profiles is sponsored by the Office of the Dean, Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS) and School of Medicine departments.


Elsevier Research Intelligence. (2016). Elsevier Fingerprint Engine [White paper]. https://www.elsevier.com/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/181763/FPE_WhitePaper_May_2016_update.pdf