Academic Tracker: Software for tracking and reporting publications associated with authors and grants

Authors : P. Travis Thompson, Christian D. Powell, Hunter N. B. Moseley

In recent years, United States federal funding agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), have implemented public access policies to make research supported by funding from these federal agencies freely available to the public.

Enforcement is primarily through annual and final reports submitted to these funding agencies, where all peer-reviewed publications must be registered through the appropriate mechanism as required by the specific federal funding agency. Unreported and/or incorrectly reported papers can result in delayed acceptance of annual and final reports and even funding delays for current and new research grants.

So, it’s important to make sure every peer-reviewed publication is reported properly and in a timely manner. For large collaborative research efforts, the tracking and proper registration of peer-reviewed publications along with generation of accurate annual and final reports can create a large administrative burden. With large collaborative teams, it is easy for these administrative tasks to be overlooked, forgotten, or lost in the shuffle. In order to help with this reporting burden, we have developed the Academic Tracker software package, implemented in the Python 3 programming language and supporting Linux, Windows, and Mac operating systems.

Academic Tracker helps with publication tracking and reporting by comprehensively searching major peer-reviewed publication tracking web portals, including PubMed, Crossref, ORCID, and Google Scholar, given a list of authors. Academic Tracker provides highly customizable reporting templates so information about the resulting publications is easily transformed into appropriate formats for tracking and reporting purposes.

The source code and extensive documentation is hosted on GitHub (https://moseleybioinformaticslab.github.io/academic_tracker/) and is also available on the Python Package Index (https://pypi.org/project/academic_tracker) for easy installation.


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