euroCRIS Poster Proposal

We have submitted a poster proposal to the CRIS 2012 conference, which we are glad to announce has since been accepted! The conference will take place from 6-9 June, 2012 in Prague.

Title: UKRISS – Feasibility study and proof-of-concept for a shared research information reporting service based on CERIF

Abstract: The UK Research Information Shared Service (UKRISS) project is being funded by JISC in the UK as part of the Research Information Management programme. UKRISS is a 16 month project that started in March 2012. The project partners are King’s College London (Centre for e-Research), British Library, Brunel University, Cottage Labs, euroCRIS, University of Exeter and the University of Edinburgh.

The aim of the UKRISS project is to determine the feasibility, requirements and scope of a UK national research information reporting service, and should this prove to be attainable, to build a proof-of-concept infrastructure for the proposed service.

The reporting of research information is a complex and expensive activity for research organisations (ROs). The UK does not currently have a national reporting infrastructure. Instead institutions are responsible for collating and submitting the required metadata to funders. This inevitably results in duplication and increased costs across the sector.

ROs across the UK are at different levels of maturity in managing research information, which needs to be taken into account in designing a national service. Some ROs, particularly large HEIs have invested in commercial CRIS systems such as PURE (Atira), Elements (Symplectic) and Converis (Avidas). Others have developed in-house systems to facilitate the gathering of information. Many ROs, particularly smaller organisations with limited resources, still rely on storing information in spreadsheets and preparing information by hand.

The Common European Research Information Format (CERIF) has emerged as the preferred format for expressing research information across Europe. CERIF has been piloted for specific applications, but not as a format for reporting requirements across all UK ROs.

The project is carrying out an extensive feasibility study, including in its remit a survey of use cases and an examination of the metadata and technical infrastructures necessary to deliver it. The study involves a wide range of stakeholders including research organisations, UK funding councils and charities that fund research. The CERIF standard is playing a central role, and the project is supported by euroCRIS.

Based on the results of the feasibility study, the project will seek to implement a proof-of-concept service which will be used to test the long-term viability and sustainability of a national service of this kind. A detailed evaluation of the service will be carried out with stakeholders to determine the benefits in terms of effort and costs in gathering research information. The project is building on the results of previous JISC Research Information Management projects such as RMAS, R4R, MICE and BRUCE as well as interacting with existing national and international organisations and services.

The poster will describe the approach and methodologies used in the feasibility study and present some early findings of the project.

The number and wide range of stakeholders of a national reporting service is potentially very complex, and includes institutions and representatives, funders, commercial software vendors, mission groups and data providers. The poster will describe the stakeholder mappings work that has been performed and the interests and relative importance of stakeholder groups to the feasibility study.

The project is conducting a landscape study to determine the relationship of a national reporting service to existing UK services in order to determine to what extent data can be shared between such services and a national service. Related services include Grants on the Web and the Research Outcomes System. The landscape study is also considering to what extent previous projects, such as those funded by JISC could contribute components to a national service. UKRISS is also reviewing experiences of countries such as Norway that have already implemented research information reporting at a national level and the extent to which their infrastructures and experiences are relevant for the UK.

The project is gathering requirements from a wide and representative set of stakeholders based on interviews and questionnaires. The poster will discuss some of the issues raised by subjects in the study at an early stage in the work, and the extent to which these issues present barriers to national research reporting.

The poster will also discuss at an early stage the suitability and issues with using CERIF as a research reporting format across all UK HEIs, based on the requirements analysis and landscape study.

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