Beyond their relevance for open access dissemination of research output, the new role of Institutional Repositories as a key institutional research infrastructure for present or future Research Assessment Exercises was extensively debated last month at the Open Repositories Conference in Madrid (some good posts on OR10 available at CAIRSS). For this purpose, IRs should be embedded into the general institutional information research system, which brings up a series of integration/interoperability issues that lie at the heart of the Sonex work.
See below an analysis of several CRIS-IR integration possibilities for creating an institutional research information infrastructure that will live up to the challenge posed by future research assessment exercises.
Considerations on the role of CERIF standard were intentionally left out of the picture, as some debate is still taking place on whether or not it should be the base standard for CRIS-IR integration. Most implementations available have until now
chosen CERIF-based integration strategies to tackle the issue, but from ad-hoc light-CERIF versions to non-CERIF solutions whatsoever, there's still a high level of diversity in the way institutions are facing this challenge. At the same time,
CERIF4REF is being steadily worked out at KCL, and CERIF architecture is also being gradually brought into ePrints new versions.
A variety of research information system implementation usecases for RAE/REF purposes was also shown at Peter Burnhill's (Sonex/EDINA) "Repository Update UK" presentation at JISC/CNI meeting last month: from IRs being used as REF-gateways to the challenge it poses in terms of open access availability of contents, a whole set of issues arise as IRs undergo enhancement for fulfilling their new role.