Note that the project is now complete and the following text is retained here for information.
The CERIFy project aims to facilitate the expansion of the community of institutions and organisations in the UK HE and commercial sector that are engaged with the Common European Research Information Format (CERIF) and Current Research Information Systems (CRISs), and to support an emerging community of practice in Research Information Management (RIM) in order to promote the development of a critical mass. To achieve this, it will evaluate, test and demonstrate the value of CERIF at the institutional level by applying an 'end-to-end', people-centred process of organisational modelling, requirements elicitation, data analysis, data mapping and data exchange with pilot institutions and develop a programme of training, support, evaluation and dissemination.
The project will be achieved as a collaboration of UKOLN and Trinity College Dublin (TCD). UKOLN currently provides support and guidance for the existing JISC RIM programme, and is closely involved in the progress of CERIF development and uptake in the UK. TCD has considerable expertise with the successful implementation of CRIS systems through its pioneering work both directly with institutions and at an international multi-institutional, collaborative level. TCD and UKOLN will together provide expert technical and metadata support to carry out a user requirements elicitation and data mapping exercise ('Data Surgeries') for four pilot exemplar HE institutions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with the additional collaboration of an international commercial organisation (Thomson Reuters). Only one of these institutions (Huddersfield) has previously engaged with CERIF on a limited basis to manage their research information data. These institutions will serve as much-needed 'profiles' or 'case studies' for the benefit of other institutions in the UK HE and commercial sectors.
UKOLN and TCD will work with these institutions to carry out an evaluation of the institutional benefits of CERIF-compliant data, and identify any significant patterns that emerge. Demonstrator CRIS instances using the CERIF data format will be developed for the two institutions which are most successful in engaging with CERIF. The latter will be determined from the stakeholder and data analysis and the 'CERIFy Health Check' undertaken during team site visits to each of the pilot institutions.
The commercial partner, Thomson Reuters will 'CERIFy' at least one of its services (InCites: the Institutional Citation Report and Global Indicators information resource). To demonstrate the value of CERIF for data exchange, the project will test the export and re-import of CERIF-compliant institutional data, which will be sent by at least two of the partner institutions to Thomson Reuters InCites™: data from Thomson Reuters will be used to add new value to validated institution-derived data (on authors, institutional affiliations, etc.), and to provide the project partners with a valuable new view of research outputs which is current, relevant and institution-specific. In addition, Thomson Reuters could facilitate CERIF-based data exchange and interoperability testing between the project's CRIS instances and their commercial CRIS, although the latter is still in development. It is a fundamental premise of this project that increased engagement with CERIF within UK HEIs is predicated on the perceived direct benefits to those institutions at a practical level. As Thomson Reuters products are widely used in the Higher Education sector for research information management and evaluation, we believe that this development has significant impact upon the argument about why UK HEIs should move towards CERIF.
Training and support will be provided to all the pilot institutions during the various phases of the project. UKOLN and TCD will facilitate interaction with an enlarged community of institutions engaged with CERIF for research information management, contributing the experience gained by the projects' pilot institutions to that of others who are already using CERIF and CRIS systems. Near the end of the project, UKOLN and TCD will work with each pilot institution to plan and fund an optional one day regional meeting in which local UK HEIs who have not yet engaged with CERIF and CRIS systems can learn from the pilot institutions’ experience. Deliverables will include briefing papers, blog posts and case studies/profiles, all of which will be aimed at providing practical information and sources of support to help institutions develop their research information management practices. At the end of the project, a showcase event to be attended by UK HEIs will seek to demystify the process involved in 'CERIFy-cation', to demonstrate how achievable it might be within relatively short timescales and to highlight the benefits of having CERIF-compliant data both for internal and external services, including data generated by the commercial sector.