CERIF in Action workshop

UK higher education interest in CERIF continues unabated as demonstrated by the numbers registering for the CERIF In Action (CIA) workshop held in London last Friday. The event was moved to a larger venue given the level of interest, and even then we almost ran out of chairs. Participants were mainly from university research systems/support offices and libraries, with others from the Research Councils and Current Research Information System (CRIS) vendors.

CIA Wordle

The CERIF in Action project forms part of the JISC Research Information Management programme third phase (RIM3). This phase has focused on business to business information exchanges between live systems. CIA has therefore developed a standard CERIF-XML schema and built plug-ins to import and export data in this format for CRIS, repository and Research Council software. Two business processes were chosen: exchanging data between partner institutions (eg when an researcher moves to a new institution) and uploading grant-level information to the RCUK Research Outputs System (ROS).

At the workshop institutional project partners successfully demonstrated the use of these plug-ins with their live systems: the University of Cambridge demonstrated the uploading of publications data to ROS via their Symplectic plug-in and the EPrints plug-in was shown in action by the University of Glasgow.

Dale Heenan revealed huge predicted savings in reporting cost per RC grant per year from using CERIF eg from the highest cost of £15.40 for manual single reporting to £0.50 using CERIF bulk reporting. Further detail on these figures would be useful.

It was interesting that the content of the workshop amply illustrated that leadership in implementing and embedding CERIF in UK research information infrastructures is now coming from RCUK and HEFCE – this was identified as critical in Stuart Bolton’s business case report back in 2010. RCUK indicated that they are using the valuable work produced by JISC programmes and putting it into production systems. Testing of the Gateway to Research within the Research Councils also starts this week.

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The Innovation Support Centre is funded by the JISC, managed by UKOLN and hosted by the University of Bath.