Raising Awareness

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UKOLN is based at the University of Bath.

The Importance of CERIF to UK HEIs

JISC logo euroCRIS


UKOLN is hosting a series of meetings based on CERIF, the Common European Research Information Format, in co-operation with euroCRIS and JISC. They will take place in Bath over 9 - 10 February 2012.

CERIF is a standard for managing and exchanging research information. It provides a data model which allows collection of information about researchers, organisations, projects, funding and research outputs. It can be employed to construct relationships between, for example, research inputs and outputs, and supports the management of vocabularies. Internally, it offers a range of efficiency benefits for institutions, including avoidance of duplicating input effort across departments and therefore greater data consistency, leading in turn to better ongoing reporting and analysis opportunities. Externally, there are significant benefits to be gained from exchanging standardised research data with other institutions (e.g., when research staff move to another institution) and with other organisations such as the Research Councils (e.g., Research Outputs System) and funding councils (e.g., REF reporting). The EXRI-UK report commissioned by JISC recommended that CERIF should be the basis for the exchange of research information in the UK. UKOLN has produced a document entitled Introduction to CERIF (PDF format).

euroCRIS is the official custodian of CERIF. The standard is developed by the euroCRIS CERIF Task Group.

CERIF is now being widely used in Higher Education institutions across the United Kingdom as a result of much recent procurement of CERIF-based CRIS (Current Research Information Systems), particularly during 2010 and 2011. However staff in many institutions have expressed the desire to strengthen their understanding of CERIF in order to exploit better the opportunities offered by this powerful (and complex) standard. The meetings are being supported by the JISC Research Information Management (RIM) Programme which is working to increase engagement with CERIF and support the emerging community of practice in the UK. Several current JISC projects will be participating in the meetings, including CERIF in Action and IRIOS-2.

An introductory CERIF tutorial will be held on the morning of 9 February 2012 in Bath. In the afternoon there will be a ‘data surgery’ session which will examine the use of CERIF in real-life scenarios. The aim is both to support new adopters of CERIF and to consolidate existing expertise. Therefore, depending on participants’requirements, the afternoon session may be divided into two groups: one for those delegates who are new or relatively new to CERIF, and another for more advanced users. Participants are being asked to bring CERIF queries and data modelling/mapping issues for discussion with CERIF experts.

On 10 February 2012, five euroCRIS task groups will meet in parallel sessions: CERIF, CRIS-IR, Architecture, Best Practice and Linked Open Data. Contact information for registration is in the euroCRIS December Newsflash. This is the first time that the task groups have been co-located. The agendas are available - note that CERIF expertise is not required to participate. Task group leaders are keen to gather UK RIM experience.

All the meetings on both days are open, and all those involved in research information management (e.g., CRIS managers and IT staff, metadata/repository managers, research office staff, etc.) are strongly encouraged to participate.

The closing date for registration is Friday 3 February 2012.

Note: You can find latest updates on our home page and previous articles in Feature archive.

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