I'm using WP as a CMS for an academic consortium website, using pages for static content and posts for the blogging infrastructure. I find that I need the ability to differentiate among different types of pages; or, find a way to introducing a grouping mechanism. I can perhaps illustrate this best using an example.
I have pages for each faculty member, which right now use a simple static link widget on the sidebar to list the publications they have co-authored. So faculty members #1, #2 and #4 who collaborated on publication x will each have x listed under this widget, and so forth. Right now, I'm doing this manually and I would like to automate this process by somehow being able to flag particular pages as "belonging" to multiple other pages (ie. via a checkbox on the edit page). Each page will then automatically link to whatever pages it "owns" in the appropriate designed element, which could be a widget or something else.
The WP parent/child functionality in page attributes cannot be used for this, because (a) certain publications were produced by multiple faculty members, and (b) I already use this functionality to generate the website's menubar, where they need to be categorized by type (Faculty, Publications, etc.).
So I'd like to open this up to your thoughts. Are there any existing plug-ins that can be used or modified to do the trick, or at least something which vaguely resembles what I'm describing so I could draw on that for ideas? If not, how would you go about doing this?