First objective of the JISC-supported Sonex initiative was to identify and analyse deposit opportunities (use cases) for ingest of research papers (and potentially other scholarly work) into repositories. Later on, the project scope widened to include identification and dissemination of various projects being developed at institutions in relation to the deposit usecases previously analyzed. Finally, Sonex was recently asked to extend its analysis of deposit opportunities to research data.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

CRIS2010 Aalborg: a brief report

The 10th International Conference on Current Research Information Systems (CRIS2010), "Connecting Science with Society: The Role of Research Information in a Knowledge-Based Society", was held last week (June 2nd-5th) at Aalborg University, Denmark. Organised by the euroCRIS association, the conference "aimed to give insight into the role of CRIS in terms of shaping the research agenda and transferring research outcomes from the laboratory to areas of usage and application". Updated information on projects and initiatives for devising CRIS-based National and Institutional Research Information Systems was presented, see conference programme. CRIS2010 presentations will be shortly posted at the conference website.

Some comments below on the outcome of discussions at CRIS2010:

  • All across Europe and beyond, CERIF is spreading as an increasingly accepted standard for building Current Research Information Systems (CRIS) both at national and institutional levels. Previously existing databases and management systems at HEIs are frequently undergoing adaption to CERIF.

  • CERIF-based National Research Information Systems for research management and assessment (such as NARCIS in The Netherlands, Frida in Norway, U-GOV in Italy or the USDA-CRIS in the United States) usually rely on CERIF-compliant Institutional CRISs for supplying the underlying institutional information. This often leads to a two-way strategy for infrastructure development, where National and Institutional Systems are simultaneously being built.

  • As a consequence, there is an increasing number of CERIF-compliant National Research Information Systems in operation, and more of them are in progress (eg DeG√≥is in Portugal or SEMAT in Iran).

  • At institutional level there is also a growing trend towards adoption of CERIF-based solutions, either developed inhouse or based on CERIF-compliant commercial CRISs: there are already several examples of ePrints being upgraded to PURE (presently the most successful of such commercial solutions) in the UK and elsewhere. This trend leads to a variety of resources available at institutional level depending on the adopted strategy: some institutions have plain CRIS systems, others work with CRIS/IR integrated solutions and finally there are also some universities running CERIF-based enhanced-IRs.

  • The Common European Research Information Format (CERIF) is by no means a closed standard at this point, but it benefits from interaction with existing National, Subject and Institutional Research Information Systems in order to "epitaxially" enrich its description features for providing solutions to various system needs.

  • A wide array of commercial solutions is presently flourishing around the area of institutional research system implementation or enhancement, such as Atira PURE, Avedas Converis or Symplectic Repository Tools to mention just some examples.

  • There are interoperability issues still to be tackled at various points of CRIS/OAR and CRIS/CRIS integration, but remarkable progress is underway, both from publicly-funded international projects and from private companies.

  • The presently soundest example of Author ID standard, Dutch DAI, having been driven by institutional integration purposes, CERIF & euroCRIS initiatives could possibly bring in a new momentum for solving pending Author ID issues, as it is a basic requirement for operation of both National and Institutional Research Information Systems.

  • Despite the fact that "everything being seemingly developed at the same time doesn't make things easier" (quote from Sonex BoF at OR10 preliminary list of issues), important progresses are clearly taking place worldwide on the field of research information system implementation. Some integrated research system development strategy from planning bodies, particularly at institutional environments, may therefore be useful for adapting to the rapidly changing landscape.