The Penn State University Sheild
open the search bar
Open the menu

Faculty Activity Insight System (FAIS) - FAQ

GENERAL QUESTIONS
TEACHING QUESTIONS
SCHOLARSHIP/RESEARCH QUESTIONS

General Questions

1. Who will be using FAIS and why?
 
Faculty will be using FAIS to create Faculty Annual Reports.
 
2. I am concerned about my privacy.  How secure is information on this site?
 
You may wish to refer to this Digital Measures website which highlights the security provisions:  http://www.digitalmeasures.com/Activity Insight/secure.htm   It is also important to note that only those individuals approved by the College have access to the records (Department Heads, Administrative Assistants, Dean’s Staff and the Dean.
 
3. I seem to be unable to log into the new faculty activity website…the system tells me that my log-on is incorrect, but it isn’t…what should I do?
 
Please call your department IT person if you require technical assistance with FAIS.
 
4. What browser should I use when I’m working on FAIS?
 
You can either use Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer.  Safari does not support the Rapid Reports feature, so we recommend that you do not use Safari.
 
5. My name does not appear correctly because I have a first initial.  How do I set up the name fields (under Personal and Contact Information) so that my name appears correctly?
 
In the ‘first name’ field put both your first initial and your second name (i.e., A. John).  Leave the ‘preferred first name’ and the ‘middle name’ fields blank.  Put your last name in the ‘last name’ field (i.e., Doe).  Then your name will appear as A. John Doe at the top of your reports.
 
6. Who should I call if I have questions regarding what should and should not be included in FAIS and where items should be entered?
 
Please contact your department Administrative Assistant if you have questions about how to input information into FAIS, what information should be added and where information should be placed.
 
7. What is the timeline for having all of my information in FAIS?
 
FAIS is a working activity report meaning you can add information at any time.  You can add information you have on hand and exit the system.  You can come back at any time and add, edit or delete information.
 
8. Do I have to populate every field?
No, you are not required to populate every field.
 
9. Will I be able to select italics and type accents and other symbols directly into FAIS?
 
Along with other Universities, Penn State has requested WYSIWYG functionality for text formatting.  Digital Measures will address this in the future, but they have not committed to a release date.  Accents and other symbols can be pasted into FAIS from word documents.  The only suggestion we can offer at present for bold type and italicization which is not part of automatic MLA, APA or Chicago formatting is to edit the document in Word after running the report.
 
10. I see that there is a suggested word limit for the various Narrative Statements—is this enforced by the system?
 
The various word limits are suggested rather than enforced.  You will be able to write as many words as you like in any field.  However, you are advised to adhere to the guidelines suggested, particularly in the case of the narrative statement for the dossier which is limited (by University policy) to two pages.
 
11. Should I select ‘Other’ if I’m not sure of the category of a particular item?
 
Select ‘other’ only if there is absolutely no other option.  We would prefer you to be as specific as possible.  If you would like options added to drop down menus please contact Rosalie Bailey.
 
12. Data that I have inputted in some sections is not pulling into my report.  How will this be corrected?
 
Please contact Rosalie Bailey at reb9@psu.edu or 863-7589 if you need to report a missing section in a report.  If the section does not appear, and should, she will request a correction.
 
13. If I would like to pull a report which includes activity for the current academic year, what dates should I include?
This question must be directed to your department head.  The date range to use for your Faculty Annual Report (FAR) will vary by department.
 
14. How much text am I able to insert into various comments or description categories throughout FAIS?
 
While there is no word limit you are encouraged to keep all of these sections as concise as possible.  We recommend 100 words or less.

TEACHING QUESTIONS

1. How should I include exams and other assignments in FAIS?
 
Syllabi, exams, assignments and similar documents can be uploaded into FAIS as supplemental documentation under the relevant entry in Courses Taught.  However, these documents will not automatically be printed in the FAR report.  If required, they should be printed out separately and attached to the FAR when submitted to the department head.
 
2.  The courses I am currently teaching are not appearing in FAIS—when should I expect them to appear?
 
The courses you are currently teaching will not be loaded until about six weeks after the semester has ended.  This is how long it takes for the Budget Office to prepare the enrollment file.  Faculty should not enter their own courses.  If you enter it yourself you will have duplicated data.
 
3.  There is a discrepancy in the course numbers between my Courses Taught list and my SRTE list (two separate listings for the same course).  What should I do about this?
 
Unfortunately errors like this may continue to happen until the University’s data is corrected.  Sometimes it is because the courses have been incorrectly set up/numbered at the department level.  When necessary ask a staff member in the department to help you correct your courses taught data in your record.
 
4.  I have two sets of SRTE data for the same class.  One has 19 students, the other (with a slightly different course number) has no clear number of students.  What should I do about this?
 
Unfortunately errors like this may continue to happen until the University’s data is corrected.  Please first contact your unit FAIS assistant and if they can’t answer your question, contact Rosalie Bailey reb9@psu.edu or 863-7589 with questions about incorrect or missing SRTE data.
 
5.  Will courses taught for Continuing Education and the World Campus appear in my list of courses taught?
 
World Campus courses which are marked as “Resident Instruction” will be uploaded automatically.  Continuing Education courses will need to be manually entered.
 
6.  A course taught does not appear and I believe it has been credited to someone else.  What should I do?
 
Unfortunately errors like this may continue to happen until the University’s data is corrected.  When necessary (and once you have been advised that the data is available) ask a staff member in the department to help you correctly list your courses taught.
 
 7.  How should I include peer reviews in FAIS?
 
Peer reviews and summarized student comments can be uploaded into FAIS as supplemental documentation under the relevant SRTE entry.  However, these documents will not automatically be printed in the FAR report.  If required, they should be printed out separately and attached to the FAR when submitted to the department head.
 
8.  My class is cross-listed.  Am I correct in thinking that the computer will put the two listings together, so that as  long as there will be a total of at least 5 in the two departmental listings combined, I’ll have SRTE results?
 
All SRTE related data questions should be first addressed with your unit’s FAIS assistant and if they can’t answer your question, contact Rosalie Bailey reb9@psu.edu or 863-7589.
 
9.  Not all my SRTE data appears in the system—why is this?
 
Problems with missing SRTE data are continuing and not a fault of the FAIS system.  It is hoped that more of the missing data will be picked up from the University’s database during each uploading cycle (end of June and end of December).  In the meantime, please advise your departmental administrator if you notice that relevant SRTE data is missing from your record.
 
SRTEs for the courses you have just taught or are currently teaching will not be available in FAIS until the next relevant uploading cycle (end of June and end of December).

SCHOLARSHIP/RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1. If a journal needs to be added to FAIS, or if I notice multiple journal entries for the same journal or misspelled names of journals, who should I contact to request additions/corrections?
 
Please contact Rosalie Bailey at (reb9@psu.edu) or 863-7589 if you need a journal added to FAIS, or if you need to make corrections to the journal drop down.
 
2. I notice that I have multiple quote marks around my publications—why is this?
 
Note that FAIS automatically inserts the correct style format for your publications including quotation marks.  If you add quotation marks to an entry you will end up with double quotation marks.
 
3. If I am sole author of a publication, should I put 100% in the author field or just leave it blank (because it is obvious)?
 
You can do either, populate the author field with 100% or just leave the field blank---please be consistent though.
 
4. If I’m entering a second or multiple author for my publication, should I put a percentage in their author field or just leave it blank?
 
You can do either, populate the author field with a percentage or leave the field blank—please be consistent though.
 
5. If I am the second author of a publication, how do I delete my information from the first author area (which automatically populates with my details) and insert the first author correctly?
 
The explanation for this is that the author order needs to be set after the first two are entered.  So by default you (the person entering the publication) are the first author.  Then you should add the second author.  Then you should use the arrow buttons to move yourself to second author.  The system makes the assumption, incorrectly, that the person entering is always the first author until manipulated using the arrows in the way described above.
 
If you’ve already tried this and it is not working then you’ll need to report that a publication in your record is being problematic.  Please send a message to Rosalie Bailey (reb9@psu.edu or 863-7589).  She will then take a closer look.
 
6. When inputting a journal article, there is a field for ‘date published’, but this sometimes does not correspond with the date on the journal.  For example, let’s say the 2009 issue of a journal was published in mid-2010?  I want to put the correct date on the journal so that it will appear correctly on a CV, but also have the correct publication date, so it will be applied to the correct evaluation year.  What should I do?
 
The issue and volume numbers should be entered in cases like this to properly identify the publication.  This would help anyone who is trying to locate the article.  Also, there is a comment box on the publications screen.  An explanation can be provided in that box if you wish.
 
7. Can information from Mendeley, End Note or Zotero systems be uploaded to FAIS?
 
This is something that Penn State and its counterparts at other Universities have been working on with Digital Measures for over a year.  They hope to deliver a solution in due course.
 
8. Some of my publications have a large number of authors.  Can I paste in a list of authors rather than entering them one by one in separate boxes?
 
You can paste in a list of authors into the comments box on the publications screen if you have a large number of authors.
 
9. I have a work in progress—do I need to enter a date for this publication and if so, which date should I enter?
 
Yes, you should enter a date in the field titled ‘Expected Date for Submission’.  The date should be the date that you expect to submit the publication to a publisher.  You should update this entry each year as the publication progresses through from ‘expected for submission’ to ‘submitted’ to ‘accepted’ to ‘published’.  Please also be sure to select a ‘current status’ and ‘role’ (e.g.Author, Editor or Translator) for each publication.
 
10. I have a work in ‘Revising to Resubmit’ status—how will this appear in my dossier?
 
Publications in this status will appear in the ‘Manuscripts in Progress’ area.  The words ‘revising to resubmit’ will not appear as this has been deemed unnecessary by the Vice Provost’s office.
 
11. Why do some retired and/or terminated faculty show up in FAIS?
 
These records have been disabled but they continue to appear in FAIS because they are co-authors on a current faculty member’s publication(s).
 
12. Does the LOCATION of the presentation or the CONTENT of the presentation determine whether a presentation is designated international?
 
The location, not the content, of the presentation determines whether it is designated as international.
 
13. I’m not sure where in FAIS to enter the book review I just completed.  Where does it belong?
 
If it is a published book review then it belongs in the Publications section.  If it is a book review requested by an editor in order to determine whether a book should be published, then it should be entered in the Service section.
 
14. I am trying to correct the information on a grant I submitted for which I am the P.I.  However, another faculty member (who has a smaller, supporting involvement) entered the item first and the database will not allow me to correct it.  Can you make me, rather than my colleague, have control over this entry?
 
The person who enters the information first has control of the entry.  If this is an unsatisfactory situation you should contact Rosalie Bailey reb9@psu.edu or 863-7589, who will reenter the grant on the appropriate record.