Penn State Research Portal (Pure)

The Penn State Research Portal (Pure) is an open research information management system that captures and displays the research output of the University, both for investigators and units. The Pure portal is fully accessible to the public.

View and Search Pure Request a Profile Update Email the Pure team

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Learn More about Pure

What is Pure? Expand answer

A screenshot of the Penn State Research Portal (Pure) is seen in December 2017. The Penn State logo appears at the top left on a black background. Below it, a search box and ways to filter information appear on a white background, with a general summary of the system below.

Pure is the name of an application by the company Elsevier that stores and allows retrieval of information on investigators, research units and research output (such as publications).

The Penn State Research Portal is Penn State University’s implementation of the Pure tool.

Pure aggregates research information from internal and external sources into a single platform.

It enhances the visibility and discoverability of research at Penn State, both internally and externally.

Pure training sessions Expand answer

The College of Medicine Pure team provided a series of training sessions Dec. 7 and 8, 2017.

View a recording of one of those sessions on MediaSite (login required).

The team is also glad to speak about Pure for any group in the College of Medicine; contact the Pure team to arrange for such a session.

What can I do with the Pure portal? Expand answer

Search for Collaborators by Topic

Enter a keyword into the Pure search box to see researchers, research outputs or research units affiliated with that topic.

Analyze a Block of Text and Find Researchers

If you have a block of text, such as an abstract or concept paper (or a funding announcement), and want to find potential collaborators, Pure offers the ability to search based on that text.

Click the gear icon next to the search box and choose “Copy/paste text – find expertise.”

A screenshot of Pure's copy/paste text to find expertise search is seen in December 2017. The Penn State logo appears at the top left on a black background, and a search box with filtering options appears below on white. A menu indicated by a gear icon is expanded, and the option to copy/paste text is highlighted with a blue border.

See Research Output and Metrics

Within Pure, you can see a researcher’s recent publications, and view article metrics such as citations, news mentions or social media references.

Simply search for the researcher’s name (full or last), select the appropriate profile, and choose “Research Output.”

Search for External Collaborators

You can also search for researchers at non-Penn State institutions who use the Pure tool.

From the main screen, choose “Researchers.” In the search box on this page, enter a topic, then click the option at right to “Include results from Experts Community.”

You will see a list of other researchers in Pure with work on that topic.

A screenshot of the Pure external collaborator search for research output is seen in December 2017. A search box with options to filter and suboptions including collaborators appears below. Those items are highlighted with blue outline. A list of potential external institutions appears below.

Who is included in the Pure portal? Expand answer

Approximately 5,500 faculty researchers across all Penn State colleges and campuses are included in Pure, with 1,300 profiles available for College of Medicine use.

The Office of the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies contributed additional funding beyond the University’s allocation to allow for the inclusion of additional College of Medicine faculty members.

If you are a faculty member in the College of Medicine and believe you should be added to the portal, please contact the College’s Pure team.

How does Pure populate profiles? Expand answer

Names, current rank, some titles, contact information and primary department are populated from Penn State records and other internal sources.

Research output and citation counts are captured from Scopus (Elsevier).

“Fingerprints,” or key topics, are associated with each profile, generated by Elsevier based on a researcher’s output.

Social media mentions are noted through PlumX and Altmetric.

How often is information in Pure updated? Expand answer

Social media analytics (PlumX and Altmetric) are updated daily.

Publications are updated weekly (once a profile is established).

Citation data are updated monthly.

Data from Penn State is updated on a semi-annual basis.

How do I edit my profile? Expand answer

The College of Medicine Pure team will correct errors or make updates to individual profiles.

Submit an Update Request

What can be edited? Expand answer

Publications (articles, books, book chapters)

Additions or deletions to scholarly output can be made on an individual basis. To add or remove a publication, you must provide the full citation.

Note regarding additions: Before making an addition request, you must first verify that the publication in question is not already in your Pure profile, and you must list each unlisted publication here individually. We cannot accept lists of publications from other websites to compare with Pure.

Contact the Pure team to request a publication change.

Non-Publication Research Output

Research output that typically doesn’t appear in a database, such as a presentation at a national meeting, a TED Talk, prize or award (non-grant), etc.

This section is currently limited to three entries; if you already have three, you must submit a request to remove one when requesting an addition.

Please provide as much information about the output as relevant, including title, date, name of conference, etc.


Photographs in Pure are pulled from the official College of Medicine/Penn State Health photo bank. We use the most recent photo in the system.

If you do not like your photo, or have not had a photo taken on campus, please call the Photography office at 717-531-8110 to arrange to have a new photo taken.

Once you have had a photo taken, contact the Pure team and provide the date taken.


Fingerprint terms can be removed from your profile if you don’t wish to be findable in a search for that particular term (e.g., older research). New fingerprints cannot be added. Contact the Pure team to request a fingerprint removal.


Faculty ranks will be updated by the Pure team each August. Currently, only certain preferred titles are included – deans, chairs and endowed professorships. Please contact the Pure team if one of these titles is missing from your profile.

Post-nominal credentials

Our listing of degrees is derived from the College’s Integrated Faculty List. If your degree credentials are inaccurate, contact the Pure team.

ORCID identifier

Your ORCID identifier can be tied to your Pure profile. If yours is not displaying in Pure, contact the Pure team with your ORCID identifier.

You may also wish to link your ORCID identifier to your Penn State login for ease of management.


If you maintain a personal or laboratory website, it can be included in your Pure profile if it meets certain requirements.

Individual websites should be created using the platform and must use one of the Penn State themes provided. The site must include a link to your department’s central web presence, and to your Pure profile, in the main navigation menu. Two users from the College’s Web Solutions team must be added as administrators.

Alternatively, investigators may include a link to their department or institute’s central web presence instead of a personal page.

To request a link to a website, contact the Pure team.

Research interests

Profiles in Pure can include a paragraph describing your research. This is a good place to include key words for which you wish to be found. Contact the Pure team with your research interests.

Education and academic qualifications

You may include undergraduate, graduate and post-degree institutions (including postdocs, residencies, fellowships, etc.) and certain certifications. Contact the Pure team to request educational updates.


You can include awards received from external organizations or within Penn State. There is a limit of eight awards per person. These should not include grant-funding awards, but rather prizes and honors. Contact the Pure team with your award information.

External roles/affiliations

Your Pure profile can showcase up to five external roles or affiliations. This can include leadership or membership in a scientific or advocacy organization, serving on a board or as a conference organizer, etc. Contact the Pure team to provide your external roles.

How reliable are Pure data? Expand answer

Pure includes feeds from Scopus (Elsevier) as well as manual entry of scholarly output and activities not captured by Scopus. While efforts are made by Elsevier and the College of Medicine Pure team to account for accuracy in the data, it is possible to have missing publications as well as publications not authored by a faculty member in question.

Available publication and citation data are limited by the indexing policies of Elsevier at the time of publication. Citation data will likely vary from Web of Science or Google Scholar statistics. Manual entries of publications will not contain citation counts in Pure.

Contact the College of Medicine’s Pure team with specific data questions.

Why might my data be different in Pure than in Google Scholar? Expand answer

Google Scholar is an open-access way of distributing information about scholarship.

However, the absence of quality control in this tool is an issue. Sometimes a publication will show up in Google Scholar more than once, in subtly different ways, and this seems to be more true with a highly cited publications. This can amplify the citation count seen in Google Scholar to be much higher than what you will see through Pure, which uses the Scopus-based H-index.

The Scopus-generated H-index is more reliable, and will generally be lower for every investigator than their Google Scholar H-index.

Advantages of Google Scholar

  • Coverage/content and citation counts are broader than those covered by Scopus or Web of Science.

Disadvantages of Google Scholar

  • Not every faculty member at Penn State has a profile.
  • Search ability is limited.
  • Bulk data downloads are not permitted.
  • Grouping is not possible (seeing all publications for a department, for instance).
  • Information can not be reused.
  • Quality control and indexing are lacking (for example, no tagging of top keywords for an investigator).
  • Any academic-domain document is indexed and can emit and receive citations.

Halevi, Gali (2017). Suitability of Google Scholar as a source of scientific information and as a source of data for scientific evaluation — Review of the Literature. Journal of informetrics (1751-1577), 11 (3), p. 823.

Delgado Lopez-Cozar, Emilio; Robinson-Garcia, Nicolas; Torres Salinas, Daniel (2012). Manipulating Google Scholar Citations and Google Scholar Metrics: simple, easy and tempting. EC3 Working Papers 6: 29 May, 2012

Who is in charge of the project? Expand answer

The Pure portal is maintained by the Penn State Office of the Vice President for Research’s Analytics and Communications office.

An advisory board comprising multiple groups and units across Penn State assists with decisions regarding Pure strategy and oversight.

The College of Medicine has a team who oversees College data in the system.

Learn more about the College of Medicine’s Pure team.

What's next for Pure? Expand answer

Pure became publicly available at the end of January 2018.

Grant information, research projects, patents and instrumentation (core facilities) are slated for addition to Pure across the University later in 2018.