Research Information Management
From the JISC's briefing paper on Research Information Management (http://www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/briefingpapers/2010/bpexriv1.aspx):
Research information - administrative information about researchers, projects, outputs and funding that arises from the research process and from managing grant applications - is currently fragmented. It is spread across different systems (in university departments such as finance and human resources, in institutional repositories or with external bodies such as research funders or the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). It is also stored in incompatible formats.
By communicating research information more effectively between systems, the process of sharing data becomes more efficient, duplication of effort is reduced and information becomes more accurate. This in turn gives a truer picture of the current situation, provides universities with reliable information on which to base their strategic plans, and enables them to report on their research more easily.
At a time when universities are considering investment in research information systems and the market for providing these solutions is in its infancy, there is an opportunity to consider options that will meet university needs long-term in areas such as:
JISC, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Research Councils and others are helping to develop an infrastructure to connect university- and nation-wide data, improve the management of UK research information and provide guidance, support and opportunities to work together. To this end JISC is currently funding a significant programme of work between 2009 and 2011.
JISC RIM programme support
UKOLN and JISC infoNet provide programme support all of the JISC projects funded as part of the JISC's Research Information Management activity. Projects have been funded in two phases (currently JISC Grant Funding 15/10). JISC infoNet will primarily focus on the business requirements for RIM, UKOLN on data harmonisation needs including CERIF. UKOLN is preparing a series of briefing documents on CERIF, data harmonisation and other matters of interest to the sector. It will also help foster collaboration through focused meetings and workshops.
Other advice is already available to the sector, for example from UCISA, the Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA) and from JISC services like the Repositories Support Project. We plan to set up a "helpdesk" address at UKOLN to help ensure that consistent advice is available to JISC's RIM projects and the wider sector.
JISC Grant Funding 15/10
A second round of RIM funding opportunities was announced by the JISC in October 2010 (see: JISC Grant 15/10: JISC infrastructure for education and research programme: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/fundingopportunities/funding_calls/2010/10/grant1510.aspx). UKOLN prepared a supporting document on RIM metadata and CERIF for this call:
- Rosemary Russell (UKOLN, University of Bath) and Nikki Rogers (ILRT, University of Bristol), Research Information Management in the UK: CERIF and metadata alignment (Bath: UKOLN, October 2010): http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/rim/dissemination/2010/rim-cerif.pdf (PDF)
The four projects funded by this strand are:
- BRUCE: Brunel Research Under a CERIF Environment (Lead partner: Brunel University; partner: St George's University of London): http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/projects/bruce.aspx
- CERIFy (Lead partner: UKOLN, University of Bath; partners: Trinity College Dublin, Aberystwyth University, University of Huddersfield, University of Bath, Queen's University Belfast, Thompson Reuters): http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/projects/cerify.aspx
- IRIOS: Integrated Research Input and Output System (Lead partner: University of Sunderland; partners: University of Glasgow, University of St Andrews): http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/projects/irios.aspx
- MICE: Measuring Impact under CERIF (Lead partner: Centre for e-Research, Kings College London; partners: Goldsmiths College, University of St Andrews, EuroCRIS, Atira A/S): http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/projects/mice.aspx
JISC: JISC Grant Funding 11/09
From early 2010, JISC awarded grants to five projects in response to JISC Grant Funding 11/09: Research Information Management. The projects were:
- CRISPool: Using CERIF-XML to integrate heterogeneous research information from several institutions into a single portal (Lead partner: University of St Andrews): http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/projects/CRISpool.aspx
- Enquire: Enrich and Research Outputs and Impact (Lead partner: University of Glasgow): http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/projects/enquire.aspx
- Developing tools to inform the managment of research and translating existing good practice (Lead partner: Imperial College): http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/projects/rimtools.aspx
- Using Business Process Management Tools and Methods for Building Research Information Management (Lead partner: University of Huddersfield): http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/projects/rimsystems.aspx
- Defining a new role: the embedded Research Information Manager (Lead partner: University College London): http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/projects/rimroles.aspx
UKOLN have now produced a technical synthesis of the Phase 1 RIM projects. This is available (in PDF) from:
- Rosemary Russell (UKOLN, University of Bath), JISC Research Information Management Programme: phase 1 technical synthesis (Bath: UKOLN, May 2011):http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/rim/dissemination/2011/rim1-technical-synthesis.pdf (PDF)
Towards a UK standard for RIM data exchange
JISC previously funded a project to look at the potential adoption of a UK standard to facilitate the exchange of RIM data, e.g. with HEFCE for REF or the Research Councils. The JISC Briefing Paper comments that:
HEFCE and the Research Councils now need to assess whether the adoption of a UK standard can benefit investment in ongoing systems development (for the REF and Research Outcomes project respectively) and consider the EXRI-UK recommendations in the context of their responsibilities as public sector organisations.
Universities need to consider the EXRI-UK recommendations, specifically those relating to CERIF, in their procurement and other investment decisions for 2010 to 2011.
In conjunction with others in the sector, UKOLN will support the harmonisation of data standards and vocabularies (including CERIF), and help review the longer-term potential of Linked Data approaches to RIM.
Relevant UK Projects:
- BRII (Building the Research Information Infrastructure) project (University of Oxford): http://brii.medsci.ox.ac.uk/
- BRUCE: Brunel Research Under a CERIF Environment (Brunel University): http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/projects/bruce.aspx
- CERIFy (UKOLN, University of Bath): http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/projects/cerify.aspx
- Content Integration Project CIP (University of Bristol): http://cip-blog.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/blog/
- dotAC: Exploring the UK research landscape project (University of Southampton): http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/research/projects/697
- Enrich project (University of Glasgow): http://www.gla.ac.uk/enrich/
- EVIE (Embedding a VRE in an Institutional Environment) project (University of Leeds): http://www.leeds.ac.uk/evie/
- EXRI-UK (Exchanging Research Information in the UK) project (University of Bristol): http://exri.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/
- IRIOS: Integrated Research Input and Output System (University of Sunderland): http://www.irios.sunderland.ac.uk/
- MICE: Measuring Impact under CERIF (Centre for e-Research, Kings College London): http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/projects/mice.aspx
- RCUK Research Outcomes project: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/aboutrcuk/efficiency/Researchoutcomes/default.htm
- Readiness4REF project (King's College London, University of Southampton): http://www.kcl.ac.uk/iss/cerch/projects/portfolio/r4r.html
- ResearchRevealed project (University of Bristol): http://researchrevealed.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/
- RMAS (Research Management and Administrative System) project (University of Exeter) [RMAS has developed a detailed set of requirements for a RIM system]: http://as.exeter.ac.uk/rmas/
- CERIF documentation (from euroCRIS): http://www.eurocris.org/cerif/introduction/