About the Faculty Database System
The Faculty Database System (FDS) has been serving the Duke community for over 10 years.
FDS is actively supported and developed; the last update was at Wed Jan 15 09:46:10 2020.
We have been at the top of the google search for "faculty database" for a while.
The slides from the last talk are available
here (PDF, 105k), which gives a good overview of the
current system. It's a "must read" for everyone.
Email me for any questions.
What is the Faculty Database System?
The Faculty Database System (FDS) is a web-based content management
system (CMS) and a web application platform designed to increase visibility of the scholarship of Duke's
faculty by making research information available and searchable via the
web. Data is maintained and updated by departments or individuals; faculty control the privacy of their own information. Faculty research
data can be rendered in any format, from searchable directories to faculty
web pages, from curriculum vitae to departmental publications lists. A
standard XML-based system architecture, with builtin automatic archiving capability, guarantees that the data is
portable and reusable. A powerful templating engine with site wide and individual template based versionings lets each unit and faculty customize
the system to meet their own needs, and publish to the web in their own way.
For example, all their publications could be using the MLA style with a simple
Integration with a school's annual faculty
evaluations process ensures up-to-date information without increasing
faculty workload or administrative overhead.
The FDS interacts easily with other enterprise information systems. Users can log
in using their Duke NetIDs and passwords. Publication information can be
easily imported from online databases such as PubMed or Procite, or
uploaded en mass from a BibTex or EndNote file. Teaching schedules,
departmental course listings, and grants information can be pulled in from other university
systems, displayed on the department's web site, and automatically
The data in the FDS is managed and maintained within the department or the school,
and all faculty have access to view, edit and manage their
How Can the FDS Be Used by Faculty?
The FDS allows faculty to record all their scholarly activities in one place via a
unified web interface. Once entered, the information can be used to generate and update
departmental web pages and directories, compile lists of publications, produce annual
evaluation reports, and maintain a curriculum vita, etc. Some data, such as teaching and grants, is automatically updated from
other data sources and you don't have to enter them at all. The data reusability (by separating the data contents from
the presentation styles) built into the system ensures
that you won't have to enter the same data twice.
A research library enables faculty to manage, store, organize, and
search collections of documents, and to access them from anywhere via the
How Can the FDS Be Used by Departments?
The information in FDS can be published or displayed in any format. For example,
data may be selectively displayed as:
- web pages for individual faculty
- a departmental directory
- a list of departmental course offerings
- a list of departmental publications
and/or research interests
- a list of current departmental news, with RSS feeds
- a curriculum vitae, which may be viewed as a web page or downloaded as a PDF document
- a report to the chair for annual review purposes, if needed
- a means to manage departmental
email lists, and make them easily accessible to department members
Since all views are generated dynamically, information is updated once, and
all relevant views are automatically updated. FDS simplifies
the information maintenance responsibilities of faculty and staff and makes it much
less labor-intensive while avoiding the common maintenance nightmares.
For example, when a new faculty
member joins the department, adding some basic information to the database
(name, email address, title, research interests) could generate the following:
page on the department's web site
- contact information added to the departmental
- email address added to the appropriate departmental mailing lists
schedule incorporated into list of departmental course offerings
How Can the FDS Be Used by a School?
The Faculty Database System can provide several valuable services at the school level:
- a searchable, up-to-date directory of faculty and their research interests (see the Arts & Sciences faculty directory)
- an interface for managing the annual faculty evaluation process
- the ability to access up-to-date faculty CVs and research information
- syndication of departmental news for selective publication at the school level
The FDS service on this server is available for use by all units within Duke. To sign up
your school or department, please fill out the Faculty
Database Group Request Form. This free service was sponsored by the Arts & Sciences and has been developed and maintained
by the Mathematics Department since 2002, with user level support provided by the Arts & Sciences.
The FDS is really important to our department; we are doing our best to make sure it's well maintained and sustainable for years to come.
We are committed to support this service as long as it's needed, and
you can use it with confidence. Any funding or political support is appreciated.
Learn More About FDS
The Faculty Database System can be accessed at http://fds.duke.edu/
For help or more information about FDS, you may