The authors describe the development of MyInfoVault (MIV), a Web-based central data repository with a variety of integrated applications that generate a series of professional documents. These documents can be circulated and archived. MIV was developed and piloted over several years (2002–2006) at the University of California–Davis in response to a perceived need to improve management of faculty merit and promotion dossiers. This article focuses on the faculty advancement module (PacketOnline) of MIV. Additional applications for generating a personal curriculum vitae and NIH Biosketch are also briefly described.
The authors report their experience with a two-year pilot program for PacketOnline, including an evaluation of its functionality derived from a user survey. Tasks for dossier preparation were rated fairly equivalently to the conventional method. Initial data entry was reported to be tedious, and there were frustrations with unanticipated glitches, typical of new systems. The largest improvements and benefits were seen in electronic review of dossiers, which was considered to be more efficient and effective than the conventional paper method. The authors found all users to be generally supportive of the new electronic system. The authors conclude that an electronic database with applications for faculty merit and promotion review is a worthwhile tool, and they suggest using a multidisciplinary team of users to achieve buy-in. Additional enhancements and monitors of performance of the MIV system are ongoing.