What is it?
Record reference fields allow a user to associate one record in Faculty Success with another. For example, when entering a new record for an award or honor, a record reference field would allow the user to select the publication, already entered in the Intellectual Contributions screen, for which they have received the award.
A common example of a record reference field in Faculty Success is on the Teaching Qualifications screen. This screen asks for relevant evidence to demonstrate the faculty has the appropriate qualifications to teach. The faculty member is able to select already entered Degrees records from a drop down list (both that they own and are linked in).
Here are some other common examples where a record reference field might be used:
- If faculty and students at your institution use Directed Student Learning opportunities to collaborate on grants, publications or presentations, you could use a record reference field to pull in records from other screens, indicating the result of the faculty/student collaboration.
- A screen could be created for faculty to indicate which records in Faculty Success they would like to have displayed on their profile page for the University website. This screen could have reference fields to a variety of screens in Faculty Success and, if desired, could limit the number of publications, grants, presentations, etc., that are displayed for each faculty member.
How does it work?
Once you have a record reference field set up in your system, the user will see a drop down from which he or she can select records that already exist in the system. The drop down list display for a record reference field is customizable. Records will sort alphanumerically based on the values displayed.
When a record reference field is selected in a CSV or XML formatted Ad Hoc report, a copy of the entire referenced record is included in the report. This is also the case when the record reference field is pulled via web services. In other formats, such as RTF or PDF, only the fields that are used by the summary display are included.
If you are thinking about adding a record reference field in your system, there is an important consideration to keep in mind.
We are currently unable to filter or show only a subset of records in a record reference field. If you create a field that references Intellectual Contributions, every record entered by the user on that screen would be listed in the drop down. This can get unwieldy for some users.
When should I use it?
Record reference can be used in many situations but it is important to consider the way your faculty work when determining if a record reference field is needed. For example, you could create a screen specifically for tracking Community Engagement activities. However, if this is information that a faculty member generally knows at the time they are creating the original record, it would be better to simply add a field to the already existing screen so that the faculty member can enter the information as part of the creation of the record. Otherwise, the faculty member has to go to multiple screens in order to complete a full record entry. A situation where a faculty member needs to indicate something about records long after those records have been created is a better use case for record reference.
If you think you may want to add a record reference field to your system, talk to your Client Success Manager or reach out to Support to determine the best design for your specific needs.