mBLAST Enhances mPACT API to Target Academic Community

mBLAST has enhanced its mPACT API product in an attempt to target the academic community. Virtual-Strategy.com tells us that the new feature, titled mPACT API PhD,

"Is designed to provide discovery, scoring and analytics across traditional and social media for academic administrators and faculty alike, providing solutions to assist in faculty recruitment and assessment, in development and in alumni engagement."

The enhancement allows academic institutions to search for scholarly material presented by academics in non-traditional venues (e.g. blogs, social media, etc.). According to mBLAST CEO, Mark Hatch, uncovering such material will help institutions "find the best candidates for both faculty and committee appointments and to track its presence."

According to mBLAST VP of Business Development, Rosette Cataldo, Academia represents a different beast when it comes to recruiting new candidates: "academics are less likely to participate in traditional job boards or social sites like LinkedIn." Since more and more scholarly material is being published outside of scholarly journals, Cataldo emphasized the need to "to search topically and find academic thought leaders through their mainstream media, blogging or social media activity."

The mPACT API utilizes REST protocol and XML data format. The PhD extension allows developers to search academic material through topic and find contributors through their online presence (e.g. blog posts, comments, online community contributions). Traditionally, peer-reviewed scholarly journals represented the sole method of publishing scholarly articles. Recently, journals started moving towards non-print journal editions. Now, fueled by ongoing battles between academic institutions and publishers, scholars have started making their content freely available at non-journal forums. mBLASTs new enhancement to the mPACT API seems timely, relevant, and should help academic institutions continue to find quality faculty as the publishing landscape changes.

Be sure to read the next Education article: Education Technology Trends - Part I - Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)