There’s an increasing obligation on universities to collect, analyse and report their research information. The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), Research Excellence Framework (REF) and funders require detailed information about research outputs and outcomes.
Universities also use information to inform and shape their strategies and showcase research. To meet these demands, they must increase the efficiency of their research information management systems, and ensure interoperability with key external stakeholders.
What you can do
Integrate your research management systems
Research information is often scattered across systems: human resources; student records; grant management; publications databases; repositories and web pages. A current research information system (CRIS) integrates these systems so once information is submitted it enables:
- Efficient capture and exchange of research output information, and monitoring compliance with funder policies
- Automatic updates of researcher, departmental and institutional records
- Showcasing research without the need for manual web page updating.
Use standards and internationally recognised digital identifiers
The need for interoperability among universities’, funders’ and publishers’ systems is pressing. Metadata standards and universal identifiers enable systems to exchange information reliably:
- Use CERIF as the standard in your CRIS
- The Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) uniquely identifies a researcher across systems. Join our national consortium for a smoother path to ORCID integration
- Use digital object identifiers (DOIs) for research outputs
- Use the RIOXX metadata profile to facilitate compliance with Research Councils UK (RCUK), REF and European open access (OA) requirements.
Use your research information strategically
High quality research information enables reliable benchmarking and informs institutional research strategy. The use of metrics in this process is increasing.
With an integrated system, you can store metrics alongside research output, grant, impact and esteem information to build a complete picture of research performance.
Metrics should accurately reflect individual, discipline and institutional performance. Read our response to an independent review on the use of metrics in UK research assessment, and learn more about our work in this area.
Through our research information management group we’re working with funders, universities, standards bodies and system vendors to address issues of openness and interoperability across the sector.
- Co-ordinating work on COnnecting REpositories (CORE), Router and Monitor to deliver a coherent set of OA services for UK universities
- Exploring transparent article-level citation indicators through our open citation experiment
- Working with universities, RCUK, HESA and HEFCE on a way forward for organisational identifiers
- Working with the British Library to promote the adoption of data-cite DOIs for research data
- Seeking common identifiers for research software outputs through our research data spring project
- Aiming to deliver a research data management shared service for universities to meet policy expectations of research funders, as well as adhering to best practice
- Developing a tool or service for research data usage metrics.
We’ve also co-authored a report with RCUK addressing the use of standards to enhance interoperability.