Research Systems

This page (2017) and needs enhancement. Please feel free to edit this page.

A Tour of the Research Data Management (RDM) Service Space


Bryant, Rebecca, Brian Lavoie and Constance Malpas. 2017. A Tour of the Research Data Management (RDM) Service Space. The Realities of Research Data Management, Part 1. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC Research. http://www.oclc.org/content/dam/research/publications/2017/oclcresearch
-research-data-management-service-space-tour-2017-a4.pdf.

From the introduction:
"Research data management (RDM) has emerged as an area of keen interest in higher education, leading to considerable investment in services, resources and infrastructure to support researchers’ data management needs. This is the first in a series of reports by OCLC Research which examines the context, influences and choices higher education institutions face in building or acquiring RDM capacity—in other words, the infrastructure, services and other resources needed to support emerging data management practices. Our findings are derived from detailed case studies of four research universities, hailing from four distinct national contexts: the University of Edinburgh (UK), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (US), Monash University (Australia) and Wageningen University & Research (the Netherlands). In this introductory report, we provide some brief background on the emergence of RDM as a focus for research support services within higher education; present a simple framework for navigating the contours of the RDM service space; describe the methodology we employed for assembling our findings and discuss the key elements of RDM capacity acquisition these findings address; and offer a preview of the next report in the series"

For a list of the Research Management Systems used in each UK Higher Education Institution see the Who uses what system page

Research Management Systems in use in the UK

include:
Elements (Symplectic)
Pure (Elsevier)
Converis (Thompson)
PhD Manager (Haplo)
Worktribe

Other kinds of 'Research' Systems

The above are in addition to systems used to manage research outputs such as publication (typically managed within an Institutional Repository (IR) such as
Eprints
DSpace
**Fedora,**
Research data may also be manged using those systems. For more information about Research Data Management (RDM) see the Jisc Research Data Shared service This is a major Jisc initiative running until April 2018 with a budget of £1,000,000


**Research information management systems – a new service category?**

Most of the information below is taken from a 2014 blog post by Lorcan Dempsey. It serves as a good introduction
(What follows is an extract for Lorcan Dempsey's blog). Click on the link above to read the complete blog post

October 26, 2014 Lorcan Dempsey
It has been interesting watching Research Information Management or RIM emerge as a new service category in the last couple of years. RIM is supported by a particular system category, the Research Information Management System (RIMs), sometimes referred to by an earlier name, the CRIS (Current Research Information System).

For reasons discussed below, this area has been more prominent outside the US, but interest is also now growing in the US. See for example, the mention of RIMs in the Library FY15 Strategic Goals at Dartmouth College.
Research information management
The name is unfortunately confusing – a reserved sense living alongside more general senses. What is the reserved sense? Broadly, RIM is used to refer to the integrated management of information about the research life-cycle, and about the entities which are party to it (e.g. researchers, research outputs, organizations, grants, facilities, ..). The aim is to synchronize data across parts of the university, reducing the burden to all involved of collecting and managing data about the research process. An outcome is to provide greater visibility onto institutional research activity. Motivations include better internal reporting and analytics, support for compliance and assessment, and improved reputation management through more organized disclosure of research expertise and outputs.

A major driver has been the need to streamline the provision of data to various national university research assessment exercises (for example, in the UK, Denmark and Australia). Without integrated support, responding to these is costly, with activities fragmented across the Office of Research, individual schools or departments, and other support units, including, sometimes, the library. (See this report on national assessment regimes and the roles of libraries.)

Some of the functional areas covered by a RIM system may be:
  • Award management and identification of award opportunities. Matching of interests to potential funding sources. Supporting management of and communication around grant and contracts activity.
  • Publications management. Collecting data about researcher publications. Often this will be done by searching in external sources (Scopus and Web of Science, for example) to help populate profiles, and to provide alerts to keep them up to date.
  • Coordination and publishing of expertise profiles. Centralized upkeep of expertise profiles. Pulling of data from various systems. This may be for internal reporting or assessment purposes, to support individual researchers in providing personal data in a variety of required forms (e.g. for different granting agencies), and for publishing to the web through an institutional research portal or other venue.
  • Research analytics/reporting. Providing management information about research activity and interests, across departments, groups and individuals.
  • Compliance with internal/external mandates.
  • Support of open access. Synchronization with institutional repository. Managing deposit requirements. Integration with sources of information about Open Access policies.
To meet these goals, a RIM system will integrate data from a variety of internal and external systems.Typically, a university will currently manage information about these processes across a variety of administrative and academic departments. Required data also has to be pulled from external systems, notably data about funding opportunities and publications.
Products
Several products have emerged specifically to support RIM in recent years. This is an important reason for suggesting that it is emerging as a recognized service category.
  • Pure (Elsevier). “Pure aggregates your organization’s research information from numerous internal and external sources, and ensures the data that drives your strategic decisions is trusted, comprehensive and accessible in real time. A highly versatile system, Pure enables your organization to build reports, carry out performance assessments, manage researcher profiles, enable expertise identification and more, all while reducing administrative burden for researchers, faculty and staff.”
  • Converis (Thomson Reuters). “Converis is the only fully configurable research information management system that can manage the complete research lifecycle, from the earliest due diligence in the grant process through the final publication and application of research results. With Converis, understand the full scope of your organization’s contributions by building scholarly profiles based on our publishing and citations data–then layer in your institutional data to more specifically track success within your organization.”
  • Symplectic Elements. “A driving force of our approach is to minimise the administrative burden placed on academic staff during their research. We work with our clients to provide industry leading software services and integrations that automate the capture, reduce the manual input, improve the quality and expedite the transfer of rich data at their institution.”
Pure and Converis are parts of broader sets of research management and analytics services from, respectively, Elsevier (Elsevier research intelligence) and Thomson Reuters (Research management and evaluation). Each is a recent acquisition, providing an institutional approach alongside the aggregate, network level approach of each company’s broader research analytics and management services.

Symplectic is a member of the very interesting Digital Science portfolio. Digital Science is a company set up by Macmillan Publishers to incubate start-ups focused on scientific workflow and research productivity. These include, for example, Figshare and Altmetric.

Other products are also relevant here. As RIM is an emerging area, it is natural to expect some overlap with other functions. For example, there is definitely overlap with backoffice research administration systems – Ideate from Consilience or solutions from infoEd Global, for example. And also with more publicly oriented profiling and expertise systems on the front office side.

Jisc Research Data Shared service

This is a major Jisc initiative running until April 2018 with a budget of £1,000,000
From the website:
"We’re working on a pilot service to allow researchers and institutions to meet their policy requirements for the deposit and curation of research data.
What we’re doing: The pilot service will enable researchers to easily deposit data for publication, discovery, safe storage, long term archiving and preservation. This means that they are able to provide sustainable access to research data so it can be re-used.
We will:
  • Produce a new system that can be offered as a managed service, relieving burden from institutional IT and procurement staff
  • Procure research data management (RDM) services and consultancy to support pilot institutions’ RDM requirements and implementation"