This scoping project explored the potential value of a new research platform, North Star, for the University of Cambridge’s academics and researchers which could simplify the publication process for academics and help them promote themselves and their research output via a single profile, while also acting as a shopfront for the University’s world-leading research. It was thought that such a platform might remove the complexity of the bewildering array of platforms and processes with which academics and researchers currently have to engage.
Over 20 Cambridge University academics from a variety of disciplines were interviewed in depth about their research processes. Previous research into academic behaviour and a series of design workshops also fed into the final prototype which was tested with academics. An ‘Experience Blueprint’ was also created as part of the project to define how the platform would work for different user groups.
Although the research showed that academics and research staff involved in the project were open to the concept there are no current plans to pursue North Star further.