Currents in Research Information Management

Today sees the deadline for bids for new project funding under the 15/10 call, so this seems like a good time to take stock of some emerging trends in research information management.

Nationally, most of the Research Councils are moving towards a shared research outcome system, and the business case for adopting CERIF as the exchange standard for research information has been strengthened by news that the REF submission system will be CERIF compatible.  UKOLN have been busy mapping data across the Research Council requirements, HESA content and CERIF4REF (developed by the R4R project) and have found good compatibility with CERIF 2008.

JISC is helping to coordinate developments in the field by building up a stakeholder group, with representation from funders, sector bodies, field leaders and commercial suppliers. This group will provide a forum for all the stakeholders in the field to share updates and achievements and get expert advice on their challenges and planning. Work is under way to put this on a formal footing, and ensure the membership is balanced across all the groups, so watch this space for news…

In other news, funding has now been approved for the Research Management and Administration System (RMAS) project under the Universities Modernisation Fund and the project will be used as a pilot to demonstrate a cloud based shared services implementation. This will result in a range of modular tools for managing research information being made available to institutions.

This will add to the range of tools that have already been developed to address the strategic needs of researchers and institutions. JISC-funded projects have already developed and tested tools for:

  • sharing research information across collaborating institutions (CRISPool)
  • recording research impact (Enquire)
  • business intelligence (TNT)
  • managing bidding and linking outputs to authors (BRIM)

In addition, we have explored and defined the role of the professional Research Information Manager (RIM) as the human component in all of these systems.

It is clear that we are in a time of incredibly rapid evolution in research information management and the next steps, some of which will start with the project bids being received right now, promise to be really exciting.