Elements at Virginia Tech: Activate your Virginia Tech Experts Profile

Virginia Tech uses an activities data system to collect and manage information about research and scholarship, creative works, teaching, extension, outreach, and service activities.

What is Virginia Tech Experts?

Virginia Tech Experts is a searchable online profile system providing a public facing view of researchers, scholars, educators at Virginia Tech, along with their publications, research interests, teaching, and additional activities.

Virginia Tech Experts supports identifying potential collaborators and discovery of research, scholarship, creative works, and areas of specialization and expertise across disciplines. It can be searched by name or keyword, and search results can be filtered by department/unit, subject tag, and availability. 

You can now easily set up an individual Experts public profile. This is done using the Elements database system and involves a few simple steps. 

Preferably, you should complete the profile information on Elements, such as your bio and academic positions, before making your profile public (Step 1 below).

Here is an example of a complete Experts profile

What Information Shows on Your Virginia Tech Experts Profile

When you make your Virginia Tech Experts profile visible to others by changing the privacy level on your Elements profile to Public, most items WILL SHOW on Virginia Tech Experts.

There are a few exceptions:

  • Research (Grants) records from Elements are currently turned off for Virginia Tech Experts.

    • We will be working with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to identify a method for profile users to show grants that are permitted to be shared publicly. These would then display on the 'Research' section of Virginia Tech Experts profiles.

      • For now, you can craft a 'Research Interests' statement (in your Elements Profile) to summarize your research areas, practices, and other information, such as awarded grants. This statement will display on the Research section of your Virginia Tech Experts profile. 

  • Professional Activities record types that are turned off for Virginia Tech Experts: 

    • Promotion / Tenure Assessments

    • Service to Students

    • These items are turned off to avoid accidentally sharing confidential information.

  • Teaching Activities record types that are turned off for Virginia Tech Experts:

    • Graduate student supervisions

    • Graduate examinations

    • Undergraduate student supervisions

    • Student advising

    • House officer supervisions

    • Mentoring.

    • These items are turned off to avoid sharing student names and other student information without permission or in violation of FERPA.

Note: You can choose to make any item in Elements internal on Experts (for Scholarly Works, Teaching, Professional Activities) or private (for Profile items - see profile screenshot example below with 'private' marked for a profile portion). In other words, it will display on Elements but not on Experts. Here's an example of an internal item on the profile that will not display on Experts: 
Example of an item set to 'internal' on Elements and thus invisible on Experts

Changes made in Elements are reflected within a few minutes in Virginia Tech Experts.  If you are concerned that data in Virginia Tech Experts may pose an immediate risk, please hide the relevant data in your Elements profile (see Step 2 on this guide).

If any questions about how to edit profile information, please reach out to experts@vt.edu

Steps for Activating your Experts Profile

Review your profile, update or hide information, and make it public on Experts.

Step 1: Review, Update, or Hide Information on Elements

  1. Log in to Elements

  2. Review the information in your Elements Records and in your Elements Profile

    • Click on the profile icon on the left-hand side. 

    • Scroll down through to review existing profile information and publications, teaching activities, and professional activities

  3. To Update Information

    • Profile Information

      • Menu - Profile - Select 'Switch to Edit Mode'
        Switch to edit mode on profile

      • To change your Name, go to Menu - My Profile - About Me - Select 'Set Preferred Name'
        Go to menu and select Set Preferred Name

      • Set your preferred first name and surname. Select 'Update preferred name'
        Set preferred name and select update

      • To change your Prefix (Mr., Ms., Dr., etc.), contact your HR rep; this data is imported directly from Banner. Your department Banner representative can change it. The Banner field is called spbpers_name_prefix on the screen PPAIDEN. Elements updates information from Banner monthly, so once your data is corrected in Banner it may take a few weeks for the change to be reflected in Elements.

      • Upload a photo or add a new one

      • Review or consider adding a Contact method, such as an Email Address or Work Phone Number
        Update email and phone number on Elements

      • Add or Update Profile information that you'd like to display like:

        • About section (most useful on your Experts profile), includes:

          • Overview (or bio);

          • Research interests;

          • Teaching summary:
            About information on Elements profile - overview, research interests, and teaching summary

        • Academic Appointments;

        • Non-Academic Employment;

        • Education degrees, certificates, postgraduate training:
          Edit / add academic and non-academic employment, education, training

        • Language competencies;

        • Web addresses (including lab websites, professional profile links, Google Scholar Profile) and Social Media;

        • Media (YouTube videos only at present) related to your teaching, research, creative works, or outreach:
          List your language competencies, web addresses, and media/YouTube 

      • Consider adding Virginia Tech Experts-focused fields in your Elements profile, such as:

        • Fields of Research, or the subject tags that you select (type in broader / general fields and select the relevant ones);

        • Availability categories indicating your availability to: mentor, collaborate, and more;

        • UN Sustainable Development Goals (if applicable):
          Edit / add fields of research, availability, and UN SDGs 

    • Scholarly & Creative Works (Publications), Teaching Activities, Professional Activities

      • Navigate to Menu - My Work - Scholarly & Creative Works / Professional Activities / Teaching Activities

        • NOTE: on Scholarly & Creative Works records section includes all forms of scholarship - presentations, journal articles, books, exhibitions, performances, patents, and more.

      • Click on the title of the item you wish to edit

      • Click on the 'Edit Record' icon to make changes. 
        Edit a record in Elements

        • If the record is a Manual record that you added yourself, any edits you make and save will show right away in your Virginia Tech Experts profile.

        • For automated records from databases and Banner, you can select 'Add Manual Record.' save the new Manual Record, edit/update it, and this new record will now display.

      • For detailed information on how to add or edit scholarly & creative works in Elements, see the the Scholarly & Creative Works (Publications) page, Step 4 (optional): Edit/Fix scholarly and creative work entries.

  4. To Hide Information so that it does NOT display on Virginia Tech Experts -- Any item that is hidden in Elements should not show up on your Virginia Tech Experts profile once you hide it and refresh your profile page. If you see a hidden object from Elements on your profile, please contact us at: experts@vt.edu

    • To "hide" information on your Elements Profile page

      • Change the privacy level for an item to 'internal' or 'private.'

    • To "hide" an object in Elements records (publications, teaching, etc.) follow these step

      • For a particular item, Select the globe image  to access 'Privacy Settings' for the item that you wish to hide.
        Manage privacy settings on an item

      • Under 'Relationship Privacy,' Select 'Internal' 

      • There are a few things to note about "hiding" objects in Elements:

        • The object should disappear from your Virginia Tech Experts profile within a few minutes after you adjust the privacy settings. Refresh your public Virginia Tech Experts profile page to verify it no longer shows. 

        • The object will ONLY be hidden on the Virginia Tech Experts profile of the person who adjusts the Relationship Privacy Settings. It will still be visible on the profile of any collaborator who has claimed / accepted the object and has left it as 'public.' 

        • The object will still appear on any reports that are generated through Elements because marking an item as 'Internal' only hides it from public views of your profile via Virginia Tech Experts and from other internal viewers of your Elements profile. However, administrators with Reporting permissions in Elements (department heads, deans, staff who pull administrative reports, university offices, etc.) will still see 'internal' (or 'private') item data in the reports they pull. 

      • To make an item "visible" again on Virginia Tech Experts, in Elements, change the Relationship Privacy Setting for the item back to 'public' and it will display on your public profile.

  5. Questions? Contact us for assistance at: experts@vt.edu


Step 2: Make your Profile Visible / Public

  • Log in to Elements

  • Go to Menu Profile Select Switch to Edit Mode

  • On your Profile page Change the overall Profile Privacy Level from Internal to Public
    Change privacy level to public

  • Now you can select 'View my public profile' on Experts:
    View your public profile button

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This links directly to a 4help form and will directly notify the Elements support team members. 

Support for Experts profiles