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Bios Self-Help Guide

For bio pages for faculty, staff, residents, and more, the Academic Health Center (AHC) uses the AHC Bios System. The system automates the updating, display, and sharing of faculty and staff bios across departments, schools, colleges, centers, and other areas in the AHC. 

How the AHC Bios System works

The individual's bio information lives in a central database, independent from Drupal and any web content management system. After logging in, web editors like you can easily add or update content using the bio builder form, and the information can publish to any number of web pages. You can also customize which fields to include on the faculty/staff list pages on different sites, and there are several options for list display.

Key components

Access point: Go to bios system 

Web pages for individual bios and listing pages: The data appears on individual bio web pages, and listing pages can be created on different sites and sections. If there is no information entered for a field, it will not be displayed. 

Bio builder form: You can add, update, and delete bio information in a single place to manage the shared information so it is consistent across all AHC websites. 

Bio list-maker tool within the bios system to create faculty/staff listing pages on AHC websites.

Bios database: Behind the scenes, the bios database provides a centralized, comprehensive “source of truth” for AHC faculty/staff bio information. The bios database is independent of any content management system, therefore the data can be pulled into any website. The database holds bios information in a secure, reliable manner that preserves the state of the information in its original import as well as a full record of changes. Future phases: Automate basic information from reliable University sources and the University of Minnesota Health databases (e.g., credentialing), and when the University’s UData solution is ready.

Why an AHC Bios System?

Bio web pages exist to provide a faculty/staff member’s credentials, education, contact information, specialties, publications, clinical and/or research expertise/interests, awards, memberships, and other key information, in order for users to learn more about a teacher, colleague, physician, researcher, etc. 

Popular content on our greatest asset: Our people

Some of the most visited, most prevalent, and most important content on websites across the Academic Health Center (AHC) are bio pages for faculty and staff. Bios are also some of the most difficult to maintain and confusing to keep consistent across sites, with more than 5,000 bios in the AHC. 

Shared appointments, shared bios

Because of shared appointments and multiple websites, one faculty member may have 15+ bios that all look different and are all manually updated to varying degrees of reliability and frequency. How do audiences seeking information on that faculty member know they have a reliable source?

Promoting accuracy, streamlining maintenance

The AHC web team understands the frustration web editors have creating and maintaining bios, and the confusion audiences may have when finding multiple bios for one person that appear quite different. To address this need, we have developed a more efficient bios system for creating and updating faculty and staff bio pages.