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NEEScomm IT announces NEEShub Release 4.0

The NEEScomm IT Team is proud to announce NEEShub Release 4.0.  Release highlights are described below.

June 13, 2012

NEEShub Release 4.0 - June 13, 2012


The NEEScomm IT Team is proud to announce Release 4.0, a major NEEShub Release.  Release enhancements along with the source of the enhancement request are described below.

Cosmetic Changes

Home Page Redesign (Usability Study findings)

  • Users should immediately notice a new look and feel for the NEEShub home page and landing pages. The redesign resulted from numerous reviews with and considerable feedback from the NEES community.
  • The redesigned home page has improved performance because of technical changes and content adjustments
  • What’s different?
  • A ‘New Here?’ section specifically for new users
  • Happening Right Now section for current day events
  • Contact Earthquake Engineering Experts link
  • What’s the same?
  • Map of NEES Network sites showing experiment activity
  • Calendar and Upcoming Events
  • News and Announcements



Project Warehouse


Project Warehouse Search Improvements (Usability Study finding)

  • The Project Warehouse Search has been changed from a Basic/Advanced Search to a single Google-like Search.
  • The initial view upon selecting ‘Search Public Projects’ from the Project Warehouse menu is a list of recently curated experiments.
  • The Search Results are returned at the experiment level with a link to the associated project directly under the experiment name.
  • The Search Results include links to Drawings, Material Properties, and Sensors associated to the experiment.
  • The Search Results can be filtered
  • based on criteria shown to the left of the Search Results (Type of Experiment, NEES Site, Sponsor, Research Type, and Material Type)


Project Reviews (internal request)

  • NEEShub users can enter a review for a Project from the main Project tab. Each review consists of one to five stars and an optional comment.
  • An average of all reviews will be displayed on the main Project tab.
  • A NEEShub user can only enter one review per project and project team members are not allowed to enter reviews for their own project.


Quick Links Tab (Wish #199)

  • To provide an easy way to see established projects in the Project Warehouse, the ‘Enhanced Projects’ tab has been renamed ‘Quick Links’. This tab still has the capability to display Enhanced Projects. There is also a link just under the tab name for ‘Publicly Available Projects’.
  • When ‘Publicly Available Projects’ link is clicked, a list of research projects with at least one public experiment is displayed.
  • A menu choice for ‘Publicly Available Projects’ has been added to the Project Warehouse blue bar menu.
  • Both the Enhanced and Publicly Available projects lists now show the PI(s) for the project.


Data Status Report Generation (Wish #81)

  • To make final reporting easier on Researchers, a Data Status Report can be generated for each project.
  • The Data Status Report includes the fields: Experiment Title, Date Completed, Documentation, Data Generated, Curation Status, Viewable, DOI/Citation
  • To generate the Data Status report, click on the ‘View Report’ link on the main Project tab
  • Click the ‘Return’ link near the Project tab to return to the main Project tab
  • The View Report screen will display the report. There is also a button under the report to download the report as a PDF.


Digital Object Identifiers (Internal request)

  • Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) are unique character strings used to permanently identify electronic data, files, or documents for the purpose of long-term data curation and accessibility.
  • For NEES Research data, DOIs will be assigned at the experiment level and are displayed on the main Experiment tab.
  • The DOI enhancement will establish research data sets as citable resources, which has a potentially great impact on the NEES community.
  • DOIs will allow the collection of reliable metrics describing the use of research data similar to the current practice of tracking usage of general articles.
  • DOIs also provide a way to give proper credit to the researcher and to demonstrate the researcher's contribution to the community.
  • Shortly after Release 4, a DOI will be assigned to each curated experiment in the Project Warehouse.  Going forward, the NEEScomm Data Curator will initiate the assignment of DOIs for curated experiments.


Project Warehouse and Project Editor support for Simulation and Hybrid Simulation Experiments (Wish #NH-319)

  • Changes have been made to the Project Editor, Project Warehouse (display) and PEN to support the storage and display of Hybrid Simulation and Simulation type experiments.
  • These changes were proposed by Lehigh University through the Lehigh Data Model (2006) and vetted by NEES researchers, NEES Grad Students, and NEES Site IT Managers.
  • The Project Editor Quick Start Guide has been updated to reflect these changes.
  • A NEEShub Boot Camp webinar describing the changes will be offered in the next couple months.


PEN (Project Explorer for NEES)


PEN Version 2.0.0

  • An enhanced version of PEN is available with this release.  A new splash screen corresponding to the NEEShub Release 4.0 look and feel will display when the tool is launched.  Be sure to download the appropriate PEN version based on operating system.

PEN support for Simulation and Hybrid Simulation Experiments (Wish #NH-319)

  • These changes were proposed by Lehigh University through the Lehigh Data Model (2006) and vetted by NEES researchers, NEES Grad Students, and NEES Site IT Managers.
  • These changes were vetted by NEES researchers, NEES Grad Students, and NEES Site IT Managers
  • A NEEShub Boot Camp webinar describing the changes will be offered in the next couple months.

Enable Selection of multiple objects (Wishes #349, 367, 400, 410, 417)

  • PEN now supports multiple selection of objects for various functions including delete and upload.

Add Expand/Collapse All commands at every level (Wish #398)

  • Every level within the Project hierarchy has been changed to allow Expand and Collapse All.

Performance improvements

  • PEN performance has been improved during project load through the use of lazy-loading.

Miscellaneous Improvements


Preservation Pipeline Phase 1 (NSF Site Visit finding)

  • With the new Preservation Pipeline, uploaded files are scanned for viruses before being placed into the Project Warehouse.
  • This ensures that only virus-free files are uploaded to the Project Warehouse, which in turn improves the overall quality of the Project Warehouse.
  • As a safeguard, after hours periodic scans of the entire Project Warehouse will continue as is currently done.
  • Upon being uploaded into the Project Warehouse, additional metadata is collected through the use of the FITS (File Information Tool Set) software. Analysis of the additional metadata provides concise information about the types of files or file formats in the Project Warehouse.
  • In addition to revealing interesting statistics about file formats, the snapshot allows NEEScomm IT to establish migration strategies for aging file format types. The end result is a Project Warehouse positioned for long-term preservation and access.

My NEEShub Profile in-line editing (Hubzero upgrade feature)

  • The User Profile has been changed to allow ‘in line’ editing.
  • Click the My NEEShub link in the upper right corner. Then click ‘Profile’ in the left nav
  • For each editable profile field, an ‘EDIT’ link along the right side of the screen allows the field to be edited.

 Multiple file upload for Wiki (Wish #283)

  • Adding files to a Wiki page is easier now because the upload allows multiple files at once.

Wish List sorting (Wish #219)

  • The Wish List can be sorted by Contributor or by Category

For questions or concerns about Release 4.0, contact Dawn Weisman, NEEScomm IT Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.