Imperial Profiles project
What is an Imperial Profile?
Your Imperial Profile will have:
- a personal summary and profile photo
- information about your role
- a description of research interests
- links to research publications
- and much more
All members of staff and postgraduate research students will have access to a Profile that can be activated and made live.
The purpose of the Profile is to publicise and connect staff at Imperial and within the wider higher education and research community.
What’s Changing with Imperial Profiles?
Imperial Profiles is a dynamic and user-friendly platform designed to replace the current Professional Web Pages (PWPs). Developed in collaboration with our ICT and Digital Team (Communications Division), this system seamlessly integrates with Symplectic Elements, providing a robust and intuitive interface for showcasing your academic and research achievements.
We are refreshing the current underlying technology by implementing Symplectic Elements Discovery Module to make it easier for our community to edit and keep their profiles up to date.
We will be migrating the current PWP data to populate a new profile layout which will offer increased functionality to showcase biographical information, as well as publications, grants and professional work, plus any teaching activities academics may have.
These new profiles will be called Imperial Profiles and the name PWP will be retired.
This page will be updated as the project progresses. Check back regularly for more details and timeline.
Why the change?
The PWP system, now over a decade old, is built on ageing technology that no longer meets our community's evolving needs. The shift to Imperial Profiles aims to:
- Ensure Up-to-Date Content: Automatically populate your profile with current information, ensuring that your academic contributions are accurately and comprehensively represented.
- Streamline Profile Management: Utilize a single system for easier editing and updating of your profile.
- Enhance Functionality: Introduce new features like feeds for grants and equipment resources, supporting a fuller depiction of your academic portfolio.
- Adopt a Modern Design: Provide a responsive design for both desktop and mobile platforms, aligning with the latest web standards and branding updates.
What to expect
See the below timeline outlining the work to transition to Imperial Profiles.
We are launching Imperial Profiles as a minimal viable product (MVP) and we are committed to continually updating and improving the system with new versions and updates in line with ICTs agile working practices.
|Testing the new Imperial Profile MVP||Nov-Dec 2023|
|Data migration starts (Old PWPs are only available in read-only mode)||Spring Term 2024|
|Data migration ends||Spring Term 2024|
|New Imperial Profile verification period - Owners check their content has transferred over correctly||Spring Term 2024|
|New training materials available||Spring Term 2024|
|Verification Period ends - New Imperial Profiles are made live to public||Spring Term 2024|
|Old PWP system switched off||Spring Term 2024|
|Post launch improvements||April 2024 onwards|
Benefits for Researchers and students
- An easier and quicker editing experience - Rich and unique data already collected within Symplectic Elements will populate fully rounded profiles including biographical information as well as publications, grants and professional and teaching activities.
- More discoverable - Makes research and expertise as discoverable as possible, with advanced search functionality and SEO helping viewers to contact about opportunities. It will help researchers to foster meaningful connections and collaborations with industry partners and other research organisations.
- Increased collaboration across Imperial - built-in visualisation highlights interdepartmental collaborations and enhances the discoverability of peers by introducing new ways to navigate between profiles.
- Control of privacy settings - Editors can control which data will be made public.
Preparing to transition - what you need to do
Before the migration - You can start getting ready by checking if you have an active visible PWP. If your PWP is active, or if you edit a PWP on behalf of someone else, then check if it is up to date and make any changes required before the migration begins.
Some things will be different in the new Imperial Profiles, and it is a good idea to start thinking about this now.
There won't be a rich text editor for your Summary page, similarly to LinkedIn, and therefore to make things easier for you and to ensure smoother integrations post migration we recommend:
- Removing all headings from your Summary page (H1, H2, H3), and re-write in a simple paragraph format.
- Removing bullet point lists from your Summary page
- Removing italics and bold fonts from your Summary page
- Reviewing hyperlinks and removing unnecessary links from your Summary page
- Reducing your Summary word count to 500 words (Max 1000)
During the migration period - Data will be migrated over to the new Imperial Profiles system by ICT and the Digital Team (Communications Division). Therefore, editors won't have to do anything as the process will be done for them.
There will be a content freeze for the migration.
The old PWP system will be available in read-only mode (which means you can see the content, but not make any changes to it). While the migration is underway your old PWP will still be accessible to the public.
Once the migration is finished, there will be a 'verification' period when you can start updating your new Imperial Profiles. After the end of this verification period, the Imperial Profiles will be made public and the old PWP will no longer be accessible to the public.
See the timeline for when the migration is taking place.
After the migration period - Once the data migration has been completed you will need to check your profile content is correct in the new system ensureing your profile accurately reflects your academic journey. Check all your feeds are pulling through as expected.
The old PWP URLs will redirect to the new Imperial Profile pages - so owners won't have to worry about updating any weblinks.
As this is an MVP, you should look out for ongoing enhancements and updates to the system.
You will be provided with a detailed training course with screenshots on how to access and use the new system. The project team will be in touch when training materials are ready. See the timeline to find out when training is taking place.
What will be different in the new PWP?
Some things will be different in the new Imperial Profiles system, the front-end design will change. You will have extra functionality, which will be highlighted in the new training materials.
Below are a few things to look out for:
|Item||Old PWP||New Profile|
|Name||Professional Web Pages (PWPs)||Imperial Profiles|
|Front end profile page URL||www.imperial.ac.uk/people/email||
Your old PWP URL will redirect to the new above URL
|URL for editing||
A login button will also be added to the front-end URL - so you will be able to log in from your Imperial Profile page.
|Rich media, like videos and documents||A separate CMS with Rich Text (TinyMCE) editor was available which enabled document and video upload, as well as hyperlinks, headings and bullet points.||
The CMS in Symplectic does not have a rich text editor, but you can still add videos and feeds.
Any documents that are held in the old PWP system will show in your new profile, but you won’t be able to update these documents in the new system.
Summary pages - This will now be a 500 word (recommended) summary of you and your work. You can no longer use hyperlinks, bullet points or headings in the formatting. Your research will be populated in the research tab, and hyperlinks will be in the sidebar.
Instructions on editing current PWPs can be found on the PWP guide.
Faculty Web Officers are available to help support with current PWP enquiries, and will be supporting the work to transition to the new Imperial Profiles.
Contact Tony Wells, Technology Delivery Manager, ICT for project related enquiries.
Page last updated: 06.12.2023