December 9, 2022

2022 End of Year Message from Sean Newell, CEO Interfolio UK

Sean Newell

CEO Interfolio UK

2022 has been quite a year for Interfolio UK. We began with a highly successful and engaged researchfish multi funder submission period. The database of outputs and outcomes now stands at some 4.5 million records, the single largest database of its kind anywhere on the planet! As we were collating the data and preparing to meet our customers face to face (something we had not been able to do since 2019!) our company was going through the process of being acquired by Elsevier. Whenever news of an acquisition becomes known, a certain unique buzz coarses through the organisation. Anticipation, excitement and quite naturally some trepidation. Only a few years ago we were a company of just 20 people. And now we are part of a company of some 8,000 employees in multiple countries around the world! So understandably we had questions. Lots of questions, and the Elsevier folk have been generous with their time, ensuring that the integration of our business into theirs is done as sympathetically and smoothly as possible. There are clear opportunities ahead and numerous conversations are taking place across the company, to explore what we can do together right now and into the future. For example, within weeks of the acquisition we were able to build an integration between Researchfish and Scopus and we also embedded Plum Analytics into the platform. Watch this space for more developments!

Our focus for the immediate future is to do everything we can to make the 2023 multi-finder submission period as easy as possible for respondents. The reduction of burden for researchers remains one of our highest priorities as we develop the product roadmap. To this end we aim to automatically pre-fill each PI’s portfolio with as much data as possible from external systems. We take the view that if someone has already entered data into one platform already, then we should work to reuse that information in Researchfish where possible. Other initiatives to improve the researcher experience include the hiring of a UX consultant who is improving the product workflow, providing a link for each PI to download all their output and outcome data in either Excel or Word format and a series of accessibility improvements to ensure the site is compliant with the current Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. 

We approach the end of the year with a high degree of optimism for the future. While our email addresses may change to the team remains the same, focussed on the researchfish platform and delivering value to our customers. We wish each of you a very happy Christmas and look forward to seeing you in person during 2023.