HighEdWeb Assocation
The Annual Conference for Higher Education Web Professionals, Austin, Texas, October 23-26, 2011

Session Details

Innovate and Collaborate: Using WordPress 3 to Build a Research Database

APS7 Applications and Standards Track

Hill Country C & D


Sometimes Universities move at a glacial pace to make decisions, but occasionally administrators have ideas that just can’t wait. It's in those instances when WordPress can save the day.The University of Kentucky - College of Engineering decided to go a new direction with their Research publication. Instead of producing a large print piece full of facts, figures and descriptions of everything going on in the college they decided to emphasize a few key areas and the collaboration between disciplines. But the college still needed the details of all the active projects available, “just in case,” and they needed it in two weeks. The site needed to contain all active projects with the title of the project, the start and stop dates for funding, the research areas, PI’s, Co-Pi’s, funding amount and the abstracts. And each project should link out to other projects and researchers in the same department or the same research area. Once you found a researcher that page should include contact info, links to personal sites, research keywords, a NSF style bio and a list of projects that researcher was currently involved in. With the release of WordPress 3.0 two advances made the project possible: custom post types and custom taxonomies. The project included two custom post types (Projects and Researchers) and four custom taxonomies (research areas, PI, Co-Pi, and departments) as well as custom meta fields for the researchers. Without WordPress the project would have taken months but instead only took three days.