For scientists and researchers: Rich resources at the ready

MITRE’s knowledge-sharing culture incorporates many kinds of resources, from human, to traditional paper, to digital. For researchers like Melissa Dolph, the wealth of resources enables her to perform on behalf of customers and to network, both of which enrich her practice and results. —Editor

Author: Dr. Melissa Commisso Dolph

The transition from graduate school to MITRE was a smooth one for me. In graduate school, I was surrounded by information of the scholarly type: text books, libraries, journal articles, etc., and smart, dedicated people – students as well as professors and researchers – who were eager to teach and eager to learn. As I’ve discovered over the course of my four years here, MITRE also provides and enables access to these same types of information resources, which are assets that I have found to be invaluable when it comes to doing the research that is necessary to best aid our government sponsors. One of the resources I’ve benefited from most recently is MITRE’s access to scientometric databases such as Scopus and Engineering Village. These databases house field information (e.g., titles, abstracts, author names and affiliations, publication dates) from publications and conference proceedings from thousands of sources, and provide a user-friendly way to search for and extract information on publications on a topic of interest. MITRE also subscribes to and has licenses with digital libraries such as IEEE Xplore, which enable us to access the full versions of publications we’d like to read.

While I like the act of performing research – finding papers, reviewing papers, assessing the relevance of a given paper to a given topic or task – I have also tapped into the MITRE InfoDesk, all of whose researchers are data librarians skilled at finding and compiling publications on a given topic. Besides technical literature, another invaluable resource for a researcher is having ready access to experts in a field, or subject matter experts (SMEs). MITRE brims with smart, knowledgeable people who have expertise in a number of technical areas.

MITRE’s intranet – the MII – facilitates finding SMEs within MITRE, as staffers are encouraged to include self-declared tags which describe their areas of expertise or experience on their People/Tech Stature page. MITRE staffers can search for a specific tag from the MII homepage, and find the names of all MITRE staffers who have associated themselves with that specific tag. One of the many benefits of being an established corporation is that MITRE staffers can take advantage of MITRE’s institutional knowledge as well as the external networks of fellow MITRE-ites to help find SMEs outside of MITRE as well. While this approach may not be as formal as the others I’ve described here, I have found it inevitable that speaking with members of my department or people I’ve worked with on other tasks will lead me to someone with the right expertise to help me on a given project.

This by no means represents an exhaustive list of the ways MITRE enables its employees to be effective at the research we do in support of our government sponsors; these are just a few of my favorites.

What are your favorite, go-to research resources in your settings?

© 2015 The MITRE Corporation. All rights reserved. Approved for Public Release; Distribution Unlimited. Case number 15-3602 

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