The bi-annual CRIS 2012 conference took place in Prague from 6-9 June. It was the 11th international conference on Current Research Information Systems and attracted over 150 delegates, mainly from EU member states, but also from the Middle East, USA and Hong Kong. The UK was heavily represented at the conference, and there were presentations on several current JISC projects such as RMAS and CERIFy.
A major theme at the conference was National CRIS systems. Delegates from countries such as Norway, Sweden, Czech Republic, Iran, Kosovo and Slovenia presented papers about their national systems, which provide useful experiences for UKRISS. Details of these will be presented in a later blog post.
UKRISS presented a poster at the event, which attracted considerable interest. Delegates from other countries saw the major investments made by JISC in projects related to CERIF as particularly valuable and providing thought-leadership. Some were particularly looking to the UK approach to developing a national research information services as providing a key pointer for their own countries. Hence the UKRISS feasibility study report will be keenly anticipated.
The commercial sector was strongly represented at the event. Event sponsors included Atira and Avedas , who presented their respective competing CRIS solutions Pure and Converis at a dedicated business session. This reflects the growing maturity of CERIF and the potentially large market for CRIS systems. Publishers such as Thomson Reuters and Elsevier are also engaging with the community through collaborative projects. The open access agenda has been attracting considerable attention and in particular new business models for publications, bibliographic information and impact metrics.
The euroCRIS president Keith Jeffery presented a stimulating view of his vision for the future development of CERIF and the CRIS infrastructure. He envisaged an international distributed CRIS infrastructure with which users would interact through their local CRIS. This interoperability would be facilitated by use of the CERIF standard. He also expressed the view that CRIS systems would provide an indispensable resource for researchers, providing a tool for finding collaborators, producing CVs, bibliographies and project proposals.
The prize-winning paper by Joerg, Dvorak and Vestdam described an update to the CERIF XML format to increase compactness and facilitate interoperability and exchange of data. This reflects the fact that CERIF is still undergoing considerable development and refinements. The on-going development of the CERIF standard is based on practical experiences and feedback of the CRIS community.