The UI Index
The Understand Interventions (UI) Index is an annotated bibliography that has been integrated into the UI website. Intended as a resource for the members of the UI community, it provides background information about broadening participation and diversity efforts, citations to the scholarly literature related to education and career interventions, published evaluation instruments, and access to policy-relevant reports. Information can be searched and categorized according to one’s interests. According to Tony DePass, associate dean for research and associate professor of biology at Long Island University-Brooklyn. “The UI Index is a major resource for those who are coming from practice and want to learn more about the scholarship, and for those who are coming from scholarship and need to understand context.”
Users of the UI Index can search on publication, author, title, key word, or year. For example, explained Angelo Ebreo, associate director of the Diversity Research and Policy Program (DRPP) and an associate research scientist at the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity, users can search for all the articles related to gender, to underrepresented minorities, to a particular researcher’s name, or other terms of interest. The developers of the Index are also categorizing entries in the Index into such categories as empirical and non-empirical, types of publication, and whether articles describe evaluations, measures, or some other topics. Copyright issues are still being resolved that will allow users to see abstracts and full-text versions.
A second searchable database covers the 300 or so journals encountered in putting the Index together, so that users of the Index can find journals covering a particular interest or find journals to which to submit work. The Index also provides an annotated list of other bibliographies that compliment the work being done by the UI community, along with a list of organizations and professional societies involved in these areas. The database will continue to be expanded and refined in part through inputs and feedback from the user community, Ebreo said, and members of the community can submit publications to the Index that should be included.
Constructing the UI Index turned out to be more complex than expected, said DePass. The journals containing articles of interest were spread across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Many of the people within communities of practice are in the life and physical sciences and are less familiar with the procedures and language of interventions research. Some work is focused on the biomedical and biobehavioral sciences, while other work extends to STEM education or education in general. Also, the work is often more academic and less translational, whereas communities of practice need work that can be applied to the issues they face.
At the conference, attendees at a workshop on the UI Index were invited to offer suggestions for adding to and elaborating on the Index. Among their ideas were the following:
- Including white papers published by professional associations and other organizations
- Including summaries and reports from relevant meetings
- Listing programs at different educational levels, including K-12 educational programs
- Increasing the number of search terms to include, for example, specific research instruments and methodologies
- Adding dissertations related to understanding interventions
- Including earlier literature, including the seminal works on which much interventions research is based today
- Adding hyperlinks to authors’ other works
- Including links to other websites that provide similar resources
- Appending commentaries to entries describing possible uses of that resource
- Including funding resources and opportunities for interventions research