UKOLN activities on research information management
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UKOLN activities on research information management



Presentation slides for a talk given at the euroCRIS Membership Meeting, CINECA, Casalecchio di Reno (Bologna), Italy, 27 May 2011

Presentation slides for a talk given at the euroCRIS Membership Meeting, CINECA, Casalecchio di Reno (Bologna), Italy, 27 May 2011



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UKOLN activities on research information management Presentation Transcript

  • 1. UKOLN is supported by: UKOLN activities on research information management Michael Day Research and Development Team UKOLN, University of Bath United Kingdom euroCRIS membership meeting, Bologna, 26-27 May 2011
  • 2. Presentation overview
    • Brief introduction to UKOLN
    • The UK context
    • JISC RIM activities
    • Programme support for JISC
      • Past activities
      • RIM1 Programme synthesis
    • CERIFy project
    • With sincere thanks to my colleague Rosemary Russell and the UKOLN CERIFy team (Mahendra Mahey, Talat Chaudhri and Stephanie Taylor)
  • 3. Brief introduction to UKOLN (1)
    • A centre of expertise in digital information management
      • Has existed for >30 years (in various guises), as UKOLN since the early 1990s
      • Is based at the University of Bath
      • 27 people
    • Digital information management:
      • Bibliographic standards, metadata
      • Cross-domain resource discovery, interoperability, semantics, knowledge organisation systems
      • Repositories support, e.g. SWORD
      • Supporting the developer community
      • Digital sustainability
      • Research data management, e.g. Digital Curation Centre
      • Research information management
  • 4. Brief introduction to UKOLN (2)
    • Current funding
      • Joint Information Systems Committee
        • JISC Innovation Support Centre
      • Research grants from JISC and others
    • Aims
      • Providing technical advice to the JISC and the wider UK HE community
      • Undertaking high-quality research
  • 5. RIM in the UK
    • UK drivers for more systematic approach to RIM:
      • Research Excellence Framework
        • A way of targeting funding to UK HEIs based on periodic peer review (last one RAE 2008)
        • Becoming ever more metrics based
        • Institutions responding to extremely competitive situation
      • Research Councils (and others)
        • Streamlining reporting requirements from grants
        • More systematic measurement of grant outcomes
        • Research Outcomes Project
      • Annual statistical returns
        • Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)
  • 6. JISC RIM activities (1)
    • JISC funds a series of activities under the heading of Research information management (RIM)
      • Convenes RIM expert group
        • 2 to 3 meetings per year
        • Includes representatives of HEFCE (REF team), RCUK, HESA, euroCRIS, etc.
        • Informs the development of JISC activities
      • Relevant past projects have included:
        • Building the Research Information Infrastructure (BRII)
        • Enrich
        • Readiness for REF (R4R)
        • ResearchRevealed
        • NAMES projects
  • 7. JISC RIM activities (2)
    • JISC commissioned study on Exchanging Research Information in the UK (EXRI-UK) - published December 2009
      • Developed various scenarios for the exchange of research information
      • Appraised various technical options and recommended exploring the potential of CERIF 2008 as a data exchange format
    • Reflects emerging consensus (in the UK) of the desirability of a common standard to share research information
    • EXRI UK report:
  • 8. JISC RIM activities (3)
    • Standard data exchange model
      • Agreed exchange format
        • Facilitate data exchange between institutions, funding bodies
        • Support a future national RIM infrastructure
      • Data alignment:
        • Several UK projects have mapped their own data models to CERIF
        • Detailed questions about harmonisation of data structures, vocabularies and syntax remain
        • With the JISC, UKOLN helped organise a series of workshops in 2010 to look at data harmonisation in more detail
  • 9. RIM programme support
    • As JISC funded services, UKOLN and JISC infoNet jointly provide programme support in the RIM area
      • UKOLN’s main focus on technical aspects
        • CRIS-OAR project (Knowledge Exchange)
        • Data harmonisation workshops
        • Research Information Management in the UK: CERIF and metadata alignment (Rosemary Russell and Nikki Rogers)
      • Work in the pipeline:
        • Brief Introduction to CERIF for UK HEIs
        • Technical synthesis of RIM1 projects (more later)
        • Organisational identifiers study
        • Discussion on the RIM strand wiki (internal reporting)
      • More information at:
  • 10. RIM1 technical synthesis (1)
    • 5 projects from 1st Phase of JISC RIM programme (JISC Grant 11/09)
      • CRISPool: Using CERIF-XML to integrate heterogeneous research information from several institutions into a single portal (Lead partner: University of St Andrews)
      • Enquire: Enrich and Research Outputs and Impact (Lead partner: University of Glasgow)
      • Developing tools to inform the management of research and translating existing good practice (Lead partner: Imperial College)
      • Using Business Process Management Tools and Methods for Building Research Information Management (Lead partner: University of Huddersfield)
      • Defining a new role: the embedded Research Information Manager (Lead partner: University College London)
  • 11. RIM1 technical synthesis (2)
    • Technical synthesis of 11/09 RIM1 programme
      • Led by Rosemary Russell (UKOLN)
      • More general programme synthesis conducted by JISC infoNet:
    • Role of synthesis is to identify some common themes
      • Note
        • Relatively small sample (5 projects)
        • Different perspectives (stakeholder surveys vs. mapping systems and business-processes from the ground-up)
  • 12. RIM1 synthesis themes (1)
    • Lack of system integration within institutions:
      • Most institutions cited a fragmented research system and lack of integration as fundamental problems (Imperial College surveys)
      • However, despite experiencing similar problems, BRIM showed that at least some of these problems could be overcome in practice
      • CRISPool demonstrated that institutions that already have an integrated research system or CRIS have big advantages (e.g., when needing to generate CERIF as an exchange format)
    • Researcher dissatisfaction:
      • Academics reported widespread dissatisfaction with current research systems (Imperial College surveys)
      • Need to minimise burden on academics (Enquire), develop easy to use interfaces
      • Need to fit systems with researcher needs and workflows (UCL project)
  • 13. RIM1 synthesis themes (2)
    • Difficulty of articulating institutional RIM Requirements:
      • Difficulty of articulating RIM requirements (Imperial College survey), e.g. every institution thinks that it is unique!
      • Experience with the RIM1 projects suggests that time spent analysing existing business processes (BRIM) and defining requirements (CRISPool) was extremely useful
      • BRIM main task - capture RIM requirements and create prototype (that integrated with existing business processes using standard interfaces)
    • Data quality
      • Data quality identified as a big issue (Imperial College surveys)
      • Data was the single greatest cause for concern for researchers (UCL project)
      • Need resource for data cleansing
  • 14. RIM1 synthesis themes (3)
    • Person identification
      • An issue that was very frequently cited …
      • Huddersfield - principal difficulty lies when members of staff enter their co-contributors details, meaning manual reconciliation of names
      • CRISPool used UK Learner Provider number as a prefix to institutional IDs
      • But see also … NAMES project, ORCID, etc.
    • CERIF issues:
      • Value of CERIF as a means of understanding the limitations of existing institutional data structures (BRIM)
      • General support for the EXRI conclusion that CERIF be used as the exchange format within the UK research information sector (CRISPool)
  • 15. RIM1 synthesis themes (4)
    • Recording ‘soft’ measures like Impact
      • Recording impact is Increasingly important in justifying research funding (RCUK) and will play significant role in REF
      • However, RCUK requirements kept changing during project timeframe (Enquire)
    • Little evidence of collaborative working across the sector
      • Institutions developing or procuring their own solutions in isolation (Imperial College survey)
      • Corporate memories of bad experiences with older collaborative IT projects
  • 16. JISC RIM2 - JISC Grant 15/10
    • Second phase of JISC RIM projects
      • February - July 2011
      • Main focus on CERIF and data alignment
    • 4 Projects:
      • BRUCE: Brunel Research Under a CERIF Environment (Lead partner: Brunel University) – presentation yesterday
      • IRIOS: Integrated Research Input and Output System (Lead partner: University of Sunderland) – presentation at Rome workshop
      • MICE: Measuring Impact under CERIF (Lead partner: Centre for e-Research, Kings College) – presentation this afternoon
      • CERIFy (Lead partner: UKOLN, University of Bath) – brief overview now …
  • 17. CERIFy project (1)
    • CERIFy: Increasing engagement with CERIF in UK Higher Education
      • Funded as part of the 2nd phase of JISC’s Research Information Management programme (JISC Grant 15/10)
      • Lead partner: UKOLN, University of Bath
      • Partner: Trinity College Dublin
      • Pilot institutions: Aberystwyth University, University of Bath, University of Huddersfield, Queen’s University Belfast, Thomson Reuters
      • Very short-timescales (February - July 2011)
      • Aims:
        • Increasing engagement of the UK HE sector with CERIF (and CRIS more generally)
        • Evaluating, testing and demonstrating CERIF with four pilot UK HE institutions and one commercial organisation (Thomson Reuters)
  • 18. CERIFy project (2)
    • Current activities:
      • Institutional site visits (now complete)
      • Data management workshop (CERIFy Data Surgery, Bath, 19-20 May 2011)
    • Proposed outputs:
      • Documenting the experiences of pilot institutions
        • CERIF Health Check, Institutional Readiness for CERIF report, etc.
        • Demonstrators for 2 institutions
      • Guidance for other UK HEIs
      • Website:
  • 19. Further information
    • UKOLN:
    • JISC infoNet:
    • JISC RIM programme: themes/informationenvironment/researchinfomgt.aspx
    • CERIFy project:
  • 20. Thank you for your attention!
    • Michael Day UKOLN, University of Bath Bath BA2 7AY United Kingdom
    • [email_address]