NUcore at 10: A Decade of Experience Developing a Core Facilities Management Application

Jerey Weiss*, Philip Hockberger, Todd Shamaly, Aaron Rosen, Linda Lewandosky, Rex L. Chisholm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Implementing an effective software solution is an important step in managing a portfolio of core facilities. Though commercial options are available, developing or adopting a custom platform is a viable path for many institutions. At Northwestern University (NU), the cores program was reorganized beginning in 2008, and we pursued the latter path in order to retain control of the development priorities and to ensure integration with other enterprise systems. This manuscript describes our experience and results after a decade of effort. The platform, named NUcore, began enrollment in 2011, and full enrollment was achieved in 2019. Key features of NUcore include a stable and secure environment, a responsive and intuitive interface for users and core staff, seamless integration with the university financial system, rules and restrictions to ensure compliance, and both core-specific and enterprise reporting. NUcore now supports nearly half of all sponsored award dollars at NU at a cost of only 1 cent per dollar of business transacted. On average, there are over 4000 active users each year. NUcore is managed as an open-source project, available at no cost to any organization. Five academic organizations currently use the NUcore code base. For NU, NUcore has been a substantial success, and continuous development will ensure that it meets the future needs of our university and its cores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Techniques
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • core facility
  • open source
  • software

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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