CASRAI in the UK and beyond…

Great progress is being made on the emerging UK community working with CASRAI (Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information). We are drawing together members of our existing research information management network, other subject experts and our CERIF friends to drive this exciting collaboration forward.

We now have the kernel for a UK standards committee to help adapt the existing CASRAI data dictionary, as well as the beginnings of a dedicated standards committee for the research impact parts of the global dictionary. A real buzz is building around the proposed new Canada/UK joint standards committee looking to add research dataset metadata to the dictionary, and Simon Hodson and David Baker are identifying and will soon be inviting the stakeholders and experts to form this joint committee. The vision at the moment is of a common global dictionary (with discipline and national extensions) that will start by targeting known needs, for example incorporating the information needed for a data management plan template to meet funder requirements.

These joint initiatives are community-centred, and their activities have caught the eye of research funders in the UK, as well as in Canada and the US. Interest also exist in developing shared models for designing research data management programmes across Europe, as illustrated by the JISC-led EC-funded sim4rdm project. This international attention really reinforces the value of this initiative to cross-border research collaboration The focus on the re-use, sharing and comparing of research information is more important than ever in an era of global research in which the best researchers are themselves globally active. This is borne out by the recent analysis of the UK’s research performance which found that the most effective researchers not only collaborated internationally, but worked and moved across borders. In this context, the value of this initiative to researchers, and to funders, is clear.

As more UK collaborations take shape, and the CASRAI/UK dictionary begins to be used in earnest in UK research management, I think we’ll see real benefits from, for instance, the full integration of CASRAI and CERIF. These initial collaborations around targeted areas of research management will help us to identify the next UK priorities for developing further the common global dictionary, as well as demonstrating the power of the expertise that has been built up in research management in our respective communities.

David Baker, CASRAI Executive Director, will be providing an update soon on the newest developments, so keep an eye out for his blog post for more news…