Presenting your core facility in iLab and on ki.se
This document contains advice on how to present your core facility in iLab and at the main website of KI, ki.se. The aim is both to market the services of your core facility and to contribute to the image of KI as a world-leading research organisation as outlined in the KI Strategy 2030.
Background and purpose
At Karolinska Institutet, we define core facilities as expensive equipment, resources, databases, installations, or such which has a defined form of operation that are not limited to an exclusive group of users. The main part of our core facilities are supervised by the Infrastructure Committee, and should follow certain guidelines concerning management, fees, and presentation.
During 2020 and 2021 a new administrative system for core facilities, called iLab, will be implemented at KI, incorporating 45 of our core facilities as a first step. This investment is a part of the KI Strategy 2030, and the aim is both to professionalise and to make the services of our core facilities available to a larger group of researchers. As a KI core facility, you are of great importance for the image of KI as a leading medical university.
Two websites – one presentation
The iLab system is an external service that the university buy from the science technology company Agilent. The main purpose of iLab is to manage bookings of equipment and services, and invoicing. The use of iLab will require login either via KI-ID or iLab-ID. However, the start page of your core facility will be open for all and searchable in external search engines, and the rest of your iLab site can be set up individually for what users can see or not.
In addition to open page/s in iLab, all core facilities using this administrative system should also have a presentation at ki.se (CMS Drupal 8). Otherwise, it will not be possible for researchers and others interested to search for and view information about our core facilities where they expect to find it – which in turn will affect the KI brand negatively as well as make marketing more difficult. The ki.se website and its content is also highly ranked by external search engines, such as Google.
You are not expected to double the information on these websites. On the contrary, it is important that you plan your presentations so that they fit the interest and need of different audiences/target groups and require as little update as possible. Combined, the information in these two web systems, iLab and ki.se, should give a full picture about what your core facility can offer in terms of equipment, services and routines.
What to present in iLab
Target groups: Actual costumers, both internal and external researchers.
Form: Detailed and relevant for researchers at work. Updated promptly.
Aim: Effective use of equipment and services by as many paying researchers as possible.
- In iLab, detailed information about bookable tools, facilities and services provided by your core facility should be presented. This probably means that some information needs to be moved to iLab from your present webpage on ki.se (or any other webpage that your facility might have).
- It may also be necessary to add more detailed information, so that it is possible for researchers to book relevant equipment and services directly in the system without having to ask a lot of questions to your staff. The information in iLab should be updated as soon as there are any changes in your offer, for example new equipment, new pricelist, change of opening hours etc.
- If you offer any kind of education on how to use the equipment in your core facility, iLab should also include detailed information about date, time, programme and application routines.
- Contact details to staff, managing director etc. Perhaps your staff is available to answer questions at certain times of the day? This information should also be able to find in iLab.
- Information about que-system and waiting time, if any. Information about security and legislation.
- Information about and links to partnering core facilities. Link back to your webpage at ki.se. Be imaginative – anything that could be useful to your customers.
What to present on ki.se
Target groups: Researchers in the capacity of prospective customers, employees and students. Funders and decision makers, and sometimes also study participants and the general public.
Form: General and inviting. Updated at least once a year.
Aim: Marketing of both your core facility and KI as a frontline research organisation.
The content of your webpage on ki.se should be adapted to become attractive and relevant to an external audience of scientists, students and funders, or any other group that may be interested in what KI can offer in terms of research infrastructure. Each core facility highlights its specific strengths and significance for KI and the research community, without going into details of the type required when booking your services in iLab.
The minimum requirement for your presentation at ki.se is a single webpage in English, placed either at the research portal (ki.se/research) or at your home department’s website/portal. It is possible to expand the scope with several web pages that are gathered under a so-called landing page. For example, you might want to add a photo gallery of scientific images, a free instruction video and/or information in Swedish. However, remember that the core facility must provide the recourses to update the webpage/s, either by educating a web editor of your own (more information in the link below) or by agreement with for example the department’s web editor.
Some further instructions:
- When planning the content, it is usually a good idea to try to picture your website from the visitor’s perspective. What does, for example, a new postdoc at KI who enters the page for the first time need to know? What is important to Swedish funders or study participants (if any) etc.?
- The headline of the page is the full name of your core facility, nothing more, nothing less.
- Structure your presentation so that what is most important – the equipment and services you offer – is presented very briefly at the top of the page. This text will be visible in search engines and is often crucial for continued reading and interest.
- Then continue to inform about your research techniques and services in a general way, preferably so that you describe your offer as clear as possible without having to update and change the information very often.
- Do not write “Welcome to the NN core facility” or alike in the headline, as this can have a negative effect on search engines. Do not start your presentation with historical background or description about your plans for the next couple of years, as this probably is not information your browsing visitors are interested in.
- General information on how to get access to and book your services in iLab should be added to your webpage, together with the link to the iLab system. Preferably the link is visible in several places on your webpage/s.
- Contact details for those who want to ask questions about instruments, cost proposals, opening hours, training and the like. Either a function email address and joint facility phone number or personal contact details
- Contact details to the manager and/or scientific director of your facility. Preferably use the contact card module in Drupal, which automatically will include a link to the staff profile page etc.
Advice for core facilities with certain security requirements
Some core facilities may have to plan their web pages with extra thought on security, if you service, for example, include animal research, high biosafety level or radiation. In these cases, it is recommended that you use a function email address as first point of contact on open web pages in iLab and on ki.se, and that the visiting address and names of members of your staff are presented behind a locked web page requiring a login.
What about logotype, profile and images?
On principal, a core facility at KI is not allowed to have a logotype or profile of its own but should follow the university’s brand guidelines and use the KI logotype and profile. Exceptions to this rule can be made if the core facility is part of a larger regional or national infrastructure.
It is nice to meet the visitors of your webpage on ki.se with a decorative scientific image or a professional photo of your staff working with the equipment that your facility provides. In some cases, a genre image illustrating your research area may also be relevant. Please make sure to use images of high resolution and quality and to give a professional first impression.
KI's own photo agency Bildmakarna can be assigned to take professional photos to a reasonable fee.
Advice for core facilities targeting the general public
All core facilities may profit from presenting their equipment and services in a short lay summary on ki.se, in both Swedish and English. For those core facilities that are targeting the general public in any form, for example for registry-based studies or laboratory sampling, it is crucial to have a more comprehensive popular science presentation on the KI website. This presentation can also be expanded with video material, open lectures and information about what to expect when visiting your facility.
When targeting the general public, it is even more important to use nice images, both scientific illustrations and photos of your staff using the equipment. Personal contact details should preferably also be illustrated with a portrait image.