Saturday, 20 August 2011
Repositories and CRIS: Working Smartly Together
Due to recent involvement in other OA repository-related activities at the University of Khartoum, reports at this blog on recent events such as the 'Repositories and CRIS: Working Smartly Together' workshop organised by RSP last Jul 19th in Nottingham and the 4th edition of the Repository Fringe in Edinburgh were slightly delayed. Good news about it is that interesting reports on these events have been published in the meantime (see the RSP event review by Gareth J. Johnson at UKCoRR blog). This will allow Sonex to take a different approach to the reporting, making it more of a reflection than of a description, as well as covering the conference followup.
One of the subjects discussed along the Reposit project session within the Conference at EMCC was what mailing list or discussion group should replace the firstname.lastname@example.org forum for discussing IR and CRIS-related issues once the RePosit project comes to an end. Several options were considered, from using already existing lists such as UKCoRR's or ARMA's, to creating a new Super-CRIS list at JISC mail such as email@example.com. Steps are being taken after the workshop to make this new list available.
The REF is working as a very strong driver towards CRIS implementation (with CERIF format being extensively considered in order to become a standard, see Marc Cox's presentation). A good number of HEIs do now operate a CRIS as a result (either commercial, in-house built or an extension of their EPrints repository). That is the good news. The not so good ones may be the fact that due to CRIS systems offering an enhanced collection of features, RIM infrastructure managers are starting to wonder whether an Open Access repository (usually managed by the Library) isn't becoming a somehow redundant piece of software, with most of its functionalities being increasingly covered by the CRIS (managed at the Research Offices). Repository phase-out is thus beginning to be discussed at given institutions for integration and optimization purposes. However, as Janet Aucock (University of St. Andrews) writes in the reposit@googlegroups list, even if the degree of overlap between repositories and CRIS systems may be large and growing, there are still features a CRIS will not be able to deliver:
"(...) Another point is to do your homework really well and make absolutely sure that the CRIs can deliver everything that a repository can do. Can it provide established permanent identifiers for items? Can it handle embargoes effectively? What about stats? Does the discovery interface in the portal display all the metadata that you need with regard to open access full text eg rights statements etc. These are small details which we take for granted but are not always embedded into the CRIS. CRIS software is still evolving too, and perhaps not all the functionality necessary is there yet. Another aspect of this is the question of the interfaces for users and discovery. Is the CRIS successfully harvested or crawled by search engines. Is it ranked appropriately. Can it expose metadata appropriately to other services where required? Can it isolate metadata with full text attached/open access full text attached and allow that set to be harvested and reused? We know that our own CRIS supplier is still working on adding all the "repository" functionality that they think is needed for their product. But at the moment I don't know the fine detail of this".
Besides R4R/CERIF4REF Project at KCL mentioned by Marc Cox, other projects also dealing with CERIF implementation regarding CRISes were mentioned such as MICE for Measuring Impact under CERIF, or the BRUCE Project (Brunel Research Under a CERIF Environment) that was presented at the 2011 euroCRIS meeting in Bologna last May (see Sonex post on the two recent euroCRIS meetings in Italy).
Another interesting outcome of this RSP event was the opportunity to learn from local SHERPA RoMEO team about the RoMEO API new v2.8 version and the release of the SHERPA RoMEO Publisher's Policy Tool, that will allow publishers to directly define their RoMEO policies via an embedded portal in SHERPA (actually presented next day, Jul 20th, at the 'RoMEO for Publishers' event in London).
Finally, a poster was featured in the event poster section called “SICA: A CRIS with an embedded Repository working for the innovation in Andalusia Region (Spain)”. With this integrated system for recording scientific production of the researchers belonging to nine universities, research organizations, technology centres and other scientific institutions of the Andalusia region in Spain, the National & Regional CRIS/IR integration initiatives (as recorded by Sonex in its May'2010 post) keep growing. This particular CRIS initiative is being developed within the European SISOB Project on -yet again- how to measure the impact of science in society.
Besides this -not thorough nor systematically updated- Sonex list of National & Regional CRIS/IR integration initiatives, a comprehensive list of 'CRIS + Repositories in the UK' is being put together as a Conference followup. When complete (it's open for any missing one to be filled in) the list will join the RSP Wiki where Institutional Repositories in the UK are already listed as to provide a clear picture of existing infrastructure.